10-Year Jail For ‘Ashram’ Head, Brother For Raping Mentally Challenged Girl

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LUDHIANA – Baba Jaswant Singh, president of Apahaj Rogian Da Ashram, Laddowal, and his brother Balwant Singh have been sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment for raping a mentally retarded minor girl in the ashram. A fine of Rs 5,000 each was also slapped on the accused.

Pronouncing the verdict, Additional Sessions Judge Amarjit Singh Virk held that the prosecution had proved that the accused were guilty. “They have taken undue advantage of their positions and also taken advantage of physical as well as mental condition of the victim girl,” the court observed while declining the plea for leniency that was raised by the accused.

A case under Section 376 of the IPC was registered against the accused at Sadar police station on April 19, 2006, following a complaint by Manmohan Singh of Laddowal.

According to the prosecution, the complainant filmed the accused raping the victim on his cell phone and later recorded it in a CD. When a Phagwara resident, Shiv Kumar Ghai, came to the ashram to donate ceiling fans, the complainant disclosed the matter to him who further reported it to the police.

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