Kathua Rape and murder case : Appeal in Punjab and Haryana HC
Last month a court in Pathankot awarded life imprisonment to Sanji Ram (caretaker of the temple where crime took place) , Deepak Khajuria (police officer) and Pravesh kumar (civilian) for gang rape and murder of a minor girl. The court also awarded five years imprisonment to three other accused named Anand Dutta (inspector), Tilak Raj ( head constable) and Surendra Verma ( special police officer), while acquitting Vishal Jangotra. Brief facts of the case are the eight year old minor was kidnapped, held captive,sedated in a temple for four days then raped and murdered by the above mentioned accused.
The father of the minor moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking enhancement of sentence of Surinder Kumar, Tilak Raj, Anand Dutta from 5 years imprisonment to life imprisonment and of Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria , Pravesh kumar from life imprisonment to capital punishment. The petitioner also prayed against the wrongful acquittal of Vishal Jangotra. The prayer mentions that since the case falls under the ‘rarest of the rare cases ‘ principles set by Supreme Court Of India , as the gang rape and murder of a minor girl after kidnapping her and holding captive mercilessly, with insensitive approach and cruelty is the epitome of rarest of the rare case and therefore the family of the deceased minor girl has sought exemplary compensation . The father of the minor said that rape laws in India are crying for a change , even after Delhi Gang Rape Case the most heinous act when the people of India came out on roads to demand justice, screamed for death penalty for the rapists but even after years the same is not granted to the them even after knowing in all manner that they were guilty and had no sense of remorse for their actions.
The accused were being convicted under Ranbir Penal Code ( RPC) for offences of kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, murder, gang rape, destruction of evidence, drugging the victim and common intention.