A court in Maharashtra has sentenced an auto-rickshaw driver to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a 17-year-old girl in 2017.

In the order pronounced on Monday, Additional Sessions Judge V V Virkar (special judge for POCSO cases) also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the accused-Laxmikant Basant Dubey (33).

Special Public Prosecutor Rekha Hiwrale told the court that the victim, whose father was also an auto-rickshaw driver, and the accused resided in a same locality of Thane city.

On December 28, 2017, the victim went missing when her parents had gone out for work. After being unable to find her, the parents approached the Naupada police who registered a case of kidnapping.

According to the prosecution, the accused had taken the victim to Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh and between December 2017 and March 2018, he raped her repeatedly.

Later, the accused was arrested and booked under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The prosecution examined nine witnesses, including the victim, to prove the case.

The judge in her order said the prosecution has successfully proved the charges against the accused beyond all reasonable doubt.

With PTI inputs