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Bombay HC reduces death penalty of convicts in 2013 Shakti Mills rape case to life imprisonment: Here is what it said

In March 2014, three men were sentenced to death by a sessions court in the city. This was for the first time, repeat rape convicts were given capital punishment under new laws enacted in 2013.

The Bombay High Court Thursday, converted the death penalty given to three convicts in the 2013 Shakti Mills rape case to life imprisonment stating that the constitutional court cannot award punishment based on public opinion. Justices SS Jadhav and Prithviraj Chavan pronounced the order.

“The Shakti Mill gang-rape case has shocked the conscience of society. A rape victim suffers not just physically but mentally as well. It is a violation of human rights. But only public outcry cannot be taken into account. A death sentence is only an exception. Judgment should not be guided by public outcry. Death puts an end to the concept of repentance… It cannot be said the accused deserved the only death penalty. They deserved religious imprisonment for life to repent for the offence committed by them. Not to assimilate into society. There is no scope of reformation,” said the Bombay HC bench.

The accused will now be sentenced to spend the rest of their lives behind the prison, with no chance of parole or furlough, ensuring that they never interact with society. The offenders were sentenced to solitary confinement for the rest of their lives. “The accused will be unable to assimilate with society,” the bench stated.

In March 2014, three men were sentenced to death by a sessions court in the city. This was for the first time, repeat rape convicts were given capital punishment under new laws enacted in 2013.

The court held that the photojournalists’ case cannot be considered their second offence as both cases were tried simultaneously. And therefore conviction under 376(E) would not sustain.

2013 Mumbai Shakti Mills rape case

On August 22, 2013, a 22-year-old photojournalist and her male colleague went to Mumbai’s abandoned Shakti Mills for a photoshoot. There, five men accosted the duo. They tied the man and took turns to rape the woman. Aakash Jadhav, a juvenile, was one of the accused in the case.

As he was a minor at the time of the crime, he was sent to a remand home for reformation and was released a few years later. Aakash started his own criminal gang once he was released from the correctional facility.

The Mumbai Police had cracked the case within 24 hours and arrested all the accused within a week. Emboldened by the swift action, a 19-year-old telephone operator approached the police a month later to complain of gang rape by five men, at the same location on July 13, 2013. Qasim Shaikh, Salim Ansari and Vijay Jadhav were named and identified by both victims in rape trials that were heard simultaneously.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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