Jammu Gang Rape: HC upholds conviction
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has upheld a trial court's judgment convicting a duo for gang raping a pregnant woman in Jammu in 2008. The court, however, modified the conviction order to the extent of awarding 10 years sentence on the accused instead of 14.
A division bench of Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Tashi Rabstan while upholding the judgment by court of 3rd Additional Sessions Judge, Jammu, observed that the "court does not find any illegality or perversity in the aforesaid judgment and order impugned. Same, in our view, is un-interferable".
The trial court order under challenge awarding sentence, in its view, the bench said, required modification only to the extent of the period of 14 years as awarded for commission of offence under Section 376 RPC for being inconsistent with the imprisonment prescribed.
Underscoring that sentence prescribed is rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years but which may be for life and liable to fine, the court said: "Though the ferocious act committed is unpardonable, 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fine as imposed shall be proportionate."
Upholding the trial court judgment of May 25, 2015 recording conviction for commission of offence by the accused punishable under Section 458 and 376(2) (g) RPC, the court said: "The sentence of rigorous imprisonment for period of seven years each under Section 458 RPC and fine of Rs 20, 000 each and in default of fine to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of three months is maintained".
Moreover, the court said under Section 376(2)(g) RPC, both the accused are sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment each and fine of Rs 50,000 each in default of fine, both shall undergo simple imprisonment for a period of six months each. Both the sentences, the court said, shall run concurrently.
The court however said that the period for which appellants were in the custody during investigation, trial and during pendency of the appeal be set off against the period of sentence awarded.
The court further ordered that the fine of Rs 1.4 lakh in case realized from the convicts, as directed by the trial court be paid to the victim as compensation.
"The appeal, except to the modification vis-à-vis period of sentence to the extent indicated above, is destined to fail being devoid of merit as such is dismissed."
According to the prosecution case, during the intervening night of August 22 /23, 2008, while the victim was sleeping alone in her rented accommodation at Beli-charana, accused Dawood Khan and Rajiv Kumar after breaking open the door overpowered her and committed rape on her who was then pregnant. They fled away from the spot after committing the offence.
In the early morning of August 23, the victim lodged a complaint with police station Satwari and police accordingly registered a case (FIR No. 139/2008) for offences under sections 450 and 376 of RPC. After completion of investigation Challan was presented in the Court.