Former Meghalaya legislator, Julius Dorphang, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail on Tuesday under the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for committing rape on a minor when he was an MLA.
Special Judge for POCSO, FS Sangma, in Ri-Bhoi district pronounced the sentence to the former legislator.
Dorphang's counsel Kishore Ch Gautam said the verdict would be challenged in the Meghalaya High Court.
“Yes, Dorphang has been convicted and I will be filing an appeal in the Meghalaya High Court, I do not agree with the finding of the trial court,” said Gautam while informing that he is yet to receive a copy of the order that has sentenced 25 years of imprisonment to his client.
Dorphang, who was the founder and chairman of the insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, Julius Dorphang surrendered before police in 2007. In 2013, he contested assembly elections and won as an Independent from Mawhati seat in Ri-Bhoi district.
However, he was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in 2017, after which the police registered a case against him. Dorphang was arrested near the inter-state bus terminus on the outskirts of Assam capital Guwahati.
He was charged under sections of the POCSO Act and the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.
The former legislator was lodged at the Nongpoh district jail but was granted bail on medical grounds from the Meghalaya High Court in 2020 by a single bench.
On August 13 this year, he was rearrested and convicted again and tried at the POCSO court.