According to reports, the Karnataka HC upheld the life term after Arumugam challenged the 50th Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge's verdict of October 2016. He was sentenced to life in prison and fined Rs 5,000.
It was argued that the advocate representing Arumugam before the trial court was absent and did not cross-examine the prosecution witnesses, reports TOI. The accused had earlier claimed that the girl was friendly with two other boys. It was also claimed that she was 20 years old and that they had sex with mutual consent.
After reviewing the case, the HC bench headed by Justice KN Phaneendra gave its verdict that the victim was a minor and a student of class 9.
According to the victim, she was raped by Arumugam when they were visiting a relative's house at Lakkavalli in Shimoga district of Karnataka in November 2010. She also said that the accused had threatened to kill her and her mother.
The victim's mother, a garment factory worker, had married Arumugam after she left her husband. At that time, her daughter was only 3-4 years old.