The sensational 2011 Varappuzha sex scandal case finally reached a conclusion yesterday after six long years, when an Additional Sessions Court in Kerala pronounced two people guilty. 43-year-old Shobha John, the prime accused, and retired army officer, 73-year-old Jayarajan Nair, who is the eighth accused, were found guilty in the case regarding the continued sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl.
The duo will be sentenced today after the court hears the prosecution and defence, reported Times of India. One of the eight accused died during trial. Five others, including the minor girl's sister, Pushpavathy, and brother-in-law, Anil Kumar, were acquitted by the court due to lack of evidence.
John and Nair have been found guilty under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including section 376 (rape), section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), section 366 (a) (procuring of minor girl), section 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), and section 506 (2) (punishment for criminal intimidation), according to the TOI report.
The scandal made headlines in July 2011, when the police busted Shobha John's sex racket and rescued the girl from a brothel that John had been running out of a rented house in Varappuzha in Kerala, reported The News Minute. The girl was allegedly sold to John in 2010 for Rs 1 lakh by her parents. In 2012, the police filed the chargesheet in the case and the case went to trial in October 2016.
The sex racket spanned several states, with the girl being taken to many places in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and sexually assaulted and raped by over 200 people, according to The News Minute report.
The case was later handed over the Crime Branch. In 2013, during its investigations, the Crime Branch found that the girl had also been sexually abused by an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) along with four others, when one of the accused testified to the involvement of the police officers.
In total, 32 cases have been registered pertaining to the scandal and Shobha John is an accused in almost all the cases.
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