A Cox's Bazar court has sentenced a man to life term imprisonment in a rape case that was filed over nineteen years back.
The verdict created a huge buzz in the district as it came on the day when the President promulgated an ordinance upgrading the punishment for rape from life term to death penalty.
Mosleh Uddin, a judge of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Court-1, handed down the verdict on Tuesday. He also fined the convict - Nurul Huda, 42, son of Siddique Ahmed of Napitkhali area in the upazila - TK 50,000.
In failure to pay the fine, he will have to serve six more months in jail, said the verdict.
At the same time, the court acquitted seven more accused as the allegations brought against them were not proven.
Badiul Alam Shikder, the public prosecutor of the court, confirmed the news to The Business Standard.
Expressing satisfaction over the verdict, Badiul said the court handed down the verdict after assessing the statements of six witnesses, the plaintiff, victim and investigation officer.
According to the case statement, the accused raped a 14-year-old girl after picking her up from home around 8pm on April 17, 2001.
The victim's father lodged a complaint at the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1 against eight people the following day.
The tribunal took the complaint into cognizance and ordered Cox's Bazar Sadar Police Station to record a case as per the complaint and look into the incident.
After investigating the allegations, the investigation officer pressed charges against the accused on July 17 of the same year.
All the accused who were on bail till the date were present during the verdict on Tuesday.