news Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 05:30
Govindaraj (35) a carpenter from Madukkarai was given a double life imprisonment sentence for raping his 12 year old daughter and his 17 year old step-daughter.  The Coimbatore district mahila court directed the State Government to deposit one lakh towards the support of the 12 year old rape survivor within three months of the judgment being passed. The court has also ordered that the convict must pay 20,000 rupees as a fine. Failing to do so will result in the government collecting the amount by attaching his properties using the Revenue Recovery Act, according to an order by the court. The step-daughter was born to Govindaraj’s wife Sharmila (33) from her first marriage. Sharmila then had a child with Govindaraj. Five years into the marriage, the relationship turned sour and she walked out, leaving both the girls in his care. This is when Govindaraj began routinely raping her. When the girl was in her 10th standard, she became pregnant twice and was forced to get an abortion because of repeated abuse, according to a Dina Thanthi report. In mid-2013, Govindaraj’s cousin K. Saravanan of Aruppukottai in Virundhunagar came to know about the 17 year old being routinely sexually abused. He took the girl with him to his native place and married her. It was during this time that Govindaraj began raping his 12 year old daughter who had not attained puberty yet. In December 2013, Govindaraj lodged a complaint with Variety Hall Road Police that Saravanan had kidnapped his daughter. The police eventually found the girl and this brought to light the continued sexual abuse of the girl at the hands of her stepfather and the rape of his younger daughter. On December 29, 2013, the police altered the case registered by them and booked Govindaraj under sections 376 (rape) of Indian Penal Code and under sections 3 and 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, according to The Hindu . Judge M P Subramanian acquitted 21-year-old Saravanan who rescued the girl. He was originally booked for rape since he married her despite the fact that she was a minor. The judge took into consideration the fact that the girl was now married to him and the lack of evidence of rape by the youth to acquit him.   
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