A special CBI court sentenced five men, including former BSF DIG KC Padhi and former J&K Police DSP Mohammad Ashraf Mir, to 10 years prison time in a 12-year-old sex scandal in J&K.
The other three are Shabbir Ahmad Laway, Shabbir Ahmad Langoo, and Masood Ahmad Maqsood.
While Mir and Padhi were fined Rs. 1L each, the other three were slapped with Rs. 50,000 fine.
The prostitution racket that shocked Srinagar in 2006
It was in 2006 when Srinagar quaked with the scandal when CDs showing minors being sexually assaulted caught police's attention.
The police questioned Sabeena, the kingpin who along with her husband Abdul Hamid Bullah, ran a prosecution racket in a brothel in Srinagar.
During the investigation, many influential names emerged after which the case was handed over to CBI.
Chargesheet names 56, including Omar Abdullah
The chargesheet named 56 involved in the racket, including Omar Abdullah, whose alleged involvement led to him quitting as J&K CM in 2009.
It was learned that Sabeena pushed poor girls to prostitution and 'supplied' them to clients.
During the trial, three out of four victims turned hostile, but one (who is a mason's daughter) stood her ground. She was given CBI's protective custody.
No question of leniency: CBI court tells convicts
Announcing quantum of punishment, judge Geetanjali Goel observed there was no reason to hand the men, who were convicted on May 30, a prison time less than seven years.
The court observed, "The manner in which the convict Shabir Ahmed Laway and Masood Ahmad alias Maqsood committed rape upon the minor prosecutrix on the same day at same place does not warrant any leniency."
For the 'protectors', the court had harsh words
"The public keeps faith in them as their protectors. Performing official duty efficiently does not condone the individual immoral act of an officer," the judgement read. Soon after the verdict, all men were taken to Chandigarh's Burail jail.
During verdict, court blamed system for girls' exploitation
Judge Goel said, "Girls of poor families become prey to satisfy the lust of a man for a petty amount."
She said, "Women who (were) once pushed into its vicious circle they never come out of it despite their willingness."
Saying rape brings enormous shame to the victim, Goel ordered fines to be used to compensate for the 15-year-old victim's loss of reputation and education.