The High Court Judge of Kandy, Manilal Vaidyathiaka, sentenced the accused, Mr. Jeevaratnam to 20 years rigorous imprisonment and a Rs. 5000/= and further payment of Rs. 100,000/= as compensation to the victim. The victim was 13 years old at the time she was raped by her neighbor. She was forced to consume alcohol before she was raped.
The High Court judge noted that the accused was 43 years of age at the time of the rape, a married man with children and the accused was only 13. The accused forced the victim to consume alcohol before raping her. The Judge declared these details as aggravating circumstances which deserved the maximum sentence.
The details of this case are given below:
(Based on the testimony from the victim’s grandmother)
Sivaraja Mohanambal (13) was a student at a school in Matale (detailed information withheld for security reasons). She lived with her father, grandmother, uncle, two sisters and a brother. Her mother had gone to the Middle East for employment. November 8, 2007 was Deepavali day, ‘the Festival of Light’ and the minor was at home as her whole family had gone to another house to watch television.
According to the information when she was alone, Mr. Jeevaratnam (43), a neighbor, had come to the minor’s house after consuming alcohol at around 3pm. As soon as he entered the house he locked the door and closed the windows. Jeevaratnam threatened her to keep quiet with a knife and forced the minor to drink the alcohol he had brought. When the minor started shouting, Jeevaratnam put a cloth in her mouth and dragged her to the mat. Jeevaratnam forced her to lie down on the floor and raped her.
According to the victim, when she regained consciousness after an hour, she found that her clothes had been removed and were torn. She felt serious pain in her stomach.
Some time later, her grandmother came in and discovered the smell of alcohol from the victim and started beating her for taking it while questioning her. When she learned of what had happened she rushed next door and disclosed what had happened to the neighbors.
The victim’s family and neighbors then took her to the Rottota police station and reported to a Women Police Constable (WPC) who knew the Tamil language. Then the WPC requested her to return the next day.
On November 9, she went to the police station as requested by the WPC and the Officer-in-Charge questioned the victim and family members. At the same time, other police officers brought Jeevaratnam to the police station and positioned him in front of the victim. Then, the police interrogated them together. The suspect totally denied the allegation made by the victim. The victim was once again victimised by the actions of the police during the interrogation who were insensitive to the victim’s mental and physical chaos.
Soon after some police officers took the victim to the Rottota hospital but the hospital refused to admit her with saying that they did not have doctors available to conduct an examination to ascertain as to whether or not she had been raped.
Then, the police brought the victim to the Matale hospital and warded her until November 15, 2007. After the victim was discharged, she was taken to the police station at the request of the police. On November 16, she lodged a complaint (Complaint No. 256/157 C.I.B (1))
Subsequently, the minor received counseling and support from the Home for Torture Victims, based in Kandy, and the Asian Human Rights Commission.