Shillong: Former Meghalaya MLA Julius Dorphang was sentenced to 25 years in jail by a special court in Ri-Bhoi district for raping a girl in 2017 when he was a legislator.

Special Judge (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences POCSO) Febroneous Silkam Sangma also imposed a fine of Rs 15 lakh on Julius Dorphang, who was the founder-chairman of insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

He surrendered in 2007 as HNLC chairman, and in 2013, won the election from the Mawhati seat as an Independent candidate.

The court had convicted Julius Dorphang on August 13 and announced the punishment on Tuesday.

“Julius Dorphang was sentenced to 25 years in jail. He was also asked to pay a fine of Rs 15 lakh,” an official of the special court told PTI on Wednesday.

The court also sentenced to life imprisonment three handlers of the girl, besides imposing fines of Rs 1 lakh each, he said.

Darisha Mary Kharbamon, Mamoni Parveen and her husband Sandeep Biswa were accused of getting the girl for the crime and inducing her to prostitution.

Julius Dorphang’s lawyer Kishore Ch Gautam said he will move the Meghalaya High Court against the order.

“As you are aware, he (Julius) is unwell. I will be filing a miscellaneous application to suspend the sentence, seeking bail for him,” Gautam said.

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Julius Dorphang was arrested on the basis of a complaint lodged against him by the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) with the East Khasi Hills district police in December 2016, alleging his involvement in an illicit act with a minor.

In January 2017, the SCPCR had filed another complaint in Ri-Bhoi, alleging that Dorphang had committed a similar offence against the same minor at a resort in the district.

On the basis of the complaints, two separate cases were registered against Julius Dorphang, following which he went missing.

He was arrested on January 7 from a bus terminus in neighbouring Assam.

Dorphang was convicted and sentenced by the POCSO court in the case filed against him on January 5, 2017.

The trial in connection with the other case is underway at a special court in Jowai.

Julius Dorphang was lodged at the Nongpoh district jail since his arrest before the high court granted him bail on medical grounds last year.

The former legislator was re-arrested on August 13 after being convicted.



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