PUNE: A sessions court has convicted and sentenced a 34-year-old woman, along with three men, to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment for gang-raping a 12-year-old girl in 2016. This is first time, after the 2013 criminal law amendment, that a court in Maharashtra sentenced a woman for sexual assault.

The convicted woman is the survivor’s maternal aunt, while one of the three accused men is related to the survivor’s mother. The woman, described by the court as the “kingpin”, has been lodged at the Yerawada central jail since her arrest in June 2016, while the three accused men had secured bail from the Supreme Court. However, after the sentencing by the Pune court, the police took the three men into custody and sent them to Yerawada jail to serve their term.

“Additional sessions judge S K Karhale found the four accused guilty under IPC and Pocso Act. This included the main charge under Section 376-D of the amended criminal law, which deals with gang-rape. It has been made gender neutral to try men, women and even transgenders,” additional public prosecutor Rajesh Kavediya told TOI

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