Accused of trafficking a 12-year-old girl for prostitution, Geeta Arora aka Sonu Punjaban, 35, has been given a 24 year-prison sentence.
The court observed that Arora had “has no right to live in civilised society” and that she had “crossed all limits to be called a woman and deserves severest punishment provided under the law", states a report by the Indian Express.
She was facing trial for trafficking of the minor girl who was kidnapped by Sandeep Bedwal, co-accused in the case. Bedwal ,41, was also sentenced to 20 years in jail and has to pay Rs 65,000 while Arora has to pay Rs 64,000. Known to be habitual offender, this is the first time Arora has been convicted in a case.
According to the court, the victim was sexually exploited for three to four years by several offenders, adding that if she had not been kidnapped by Sandeep "perhaps" she would have not have suffered.
After being kidnapped, the young girl was "sold" to Arora, who trapped her and administered her drugs to The victim was then sold to Punjaban, who confined the girl, administered drugs to immobilise the girl. After 3 to 4 months, "sold" the victim to prostitution to her Lala from Lucknow, the report states.
Additional Sessions Judge Pritam Singh observed that apart from purchasing a victim for prostitution, Arora also brutalised her, and administered drugs so that she could resist exploitation. Singh said that the modesty of a woman was "next to her soul" and asked how a woman could outrage and brutalise the modesty of another's?
The court observed that the "shameful deeds" of Arora deprived her of any leniency, and that she had no right to live in civilised society, but only in the four boundaries of jail.
The court ordered a compensation of Rs 7 lakh along with Rs 2 lakh interim relief which had been given by a court order on June 4 last year. While doing so, it said that the victim was deprived of the company of her parents, siblings and friends, "that a child requires most in her childhood”, the report by IE states.
Arora's lawyer R M Tufail had sought leniency on the grounds that her husband was murdered and that there was nobody else to look after her minor son, her old and dependent 60-year-old mother HIV-positive brother. Arora had been in custody since the past two years.