A 34-year-old transport agent from Mangaon has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a 33-year-old intellectually disabled woman in 2013. Special women’s court judge A S Shende delivered the judgement against Sadulla Sheikh under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code.
34-year-old Sadulla Sheikh took the woman to a hotel on the pretext of talking to her
Another accused in the case, Yashwant Jadhav, the manager of the hotel where the crime took place, was acquitted because of lack of evidence against him. During the trial, public prosecutor Kalpana Hire examined close to 18 witnesses, including the survivor and her parents.
The woman, whose IQ is that of a six-year-old’s, was asked a few general questions before the court recorded her statement. In her statement, the survivor said that on September 11, 2013, around 1.30 pm, she was standing near her house when the accused approached her, saying he wanted to talk to her.
He took the woman to a nearby hotel where he raped her. Sheikh then wrote his name and phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to the woman before leaving the hotel. She reached home and told her father about the incident, handing over the paper that was given to her by the accused.
Her father took her to the police station and filed the complaint. The survivor’s father told the court that at around 2.15 pm on the same day, he received a call from a friend who asked about his daughter’s whereabouts, to which he said that she might have gone to her aunt’s place.
His friend then told him that he saw an unknown man take his daughter to the hotel. The father immediately called his daughter, who at the time was just about to leave the hotel. She told him that she was at her aunt’s place and is on her way home. Unconvinced, he went to the hotel and asked the manager, Jadhav, if he had seen his daughter come in.
According to the defence lawyer, since the survivor was wearing a burkha, Jadhav was unaware if she had come to the hotel with the accused. When the survivor reached home, her father asked her where she had been. After staying quiet for sometime, she told her father about the incident. During the trial, Sheikh’s mobile number that he had given to the woman and the medical reports led to his conviction.