Shillong, Aug 24: Julius Kitbok Dorphang, former MLA from Mawhati and ex-Chairman of the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) was on Tuesday sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in the rape of a minor girl.
The Special POCSO Court, Nongpoh also asked him to pay a fine of Rs. 15 lakh.
This was confirmed by his lawyer, Kishore Ch. Gautam.
It may be mentioned that on August 13, he was convicted in a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in Ri Bhoi district and was arrested and shifted to Nongpoh jail.
Dorphang was granted bail on medical grounds on November 26 last year by the Meghalaya High Court.
Gautam while accepting the sentencing by the Court however said that he will file an appeal in the Meghalaya High Court by next week.
â€œWe will also be praying for suspension of the sentence. So that he can come out on bail since the appeal may take a long time. As you all know he has a medical condition,â€ he added.
The former chairman of HNLC was facing trial in two courts, one before the Special Judge (POCSO) at Nongpoh and another before the Special Judge (POCSO) at Jowai.
On December 23, 2016, the chairperson, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Meghalaya had registered a complaint to the Superintendent of Police, East Khasi Hills District at Shillong, alleging that Julias K. Dorphang had illicit sexual intercourse with a minor girl which is a violation of the childâ€™s right to life and dignity.
The complaint was received as an FIR and Laitumkhrah P.S. Case No 239 (12) of 2016 under Section 366 (A) IPC read with Section 3(a)/4/5 of the POCSO Act and Section 5 of the ITP Act was registered.
Again, on January 5, 2017, another FIR was filed by the chairperson, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Meghalaya, alleging that the petitioner herein had committed a similar offence against the same minor victim somewhere within the jurisdiction of Nongpoh in Ri Bhoi district.
Another criminal case was registered at Umiam Police Station â€“ Case No 1(01) 2017 under Section 376 (2) (i) (n) IPC read with Section 4/6/17 POCSO Act, and Section 5 (I) Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.
The legal representative of Dorphang informed that both the cases should have been investigated from one place since the law is clear that there is no need to have two different FIRs for a similar offence.