Headline

Kathua rape-murder case verdict: Life Imprisonment for 3 Main Convicts, Others Handed 5-Year Imprisonment

Kathua rape-murder case verdict: Life Imprisonment for 3 Main Convicts, Others Handed 5-Year Imprisonment: A Special Court in Pathankot of Punjab on Monday convicted six out of the seven in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua last year. Pathankot District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh announced the verdict in the open court.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 last year, was raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district, J&K
  • The case was transferred to Pathankot, Punjab by the Supreme Court after lawyers in Kathua prevented Crime Branch officials from filing a chargesheet in the case

Kathua rape-murder case verdict

  • 16:57 (IST)

    Planning to challenge verdict, says prosecution lawyer

    After the quantum of sentence was pronounced, Farooqi Khan, lawyer of victim’s father told India Today, “We are little disappointed. We had demanded for capital punishment… Maybe, we’re planning for that (challenging the verdict).”

  • 16:54 (IST)

    Sanji Ram, two others get life imprisonment

    The Pathankot court has pronounced  life imprisonment of 25 years to Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria in the Kathua rape and murder case. Three others — SI Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and special police officer Surender Verma — found guilty for destruction of evidence have been sentenced to five years in jail.

  • 16:45 (IST)

    Quantum of punishment shortly

    CNN-News18 reported that a representation from the defence or the prosecution’s side may step out of the court in the next five to ten minutes to tell the mediapersons about the quantum of punishment given to the six convicts in the Kathua rape and murder case.

  • 16:25 (IST)

    Congress welcomes Pathankot court’s judgment

    In a tweet, Congress welcomed the Pathankot court’s judgment in the Kathua rape and murder case. It said that the party hoped that the victim’s family can find justice in the verdict.

  • 16:15 (IST)

    Arguments conclude from both sides

    CNN-News18 reported that the arguments have concluded from both sides. The quantum of punishment is expected to be pronounced shortly.

  • 15:58 (IST)

    Three cops convicted for destroying evidence

    Three police officers have been convicted for destruction of evidence in the Kathua rape and murder case, said advocate representing the victim in the case. “Police officials Tilak Raj, Anand Dutta and Surender Verma were convicted under section 201 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) for causing destruction of evidence,” said Mubeen Farooqui, victim’s advocate told reporters outside the court.

    The main accused in the case Sanji Ram was booked under section 302 (murder), 376D (gang rape), 363 (kidnapping), 120b (criminal conspiracy), 343 (wrongful confinement) of the RPC.

    ANI

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Pathankot special court convicts 6 for rape, murder of 8-yr-old in J&K

    The Kathua case was brought to a conclusion on Monday with a special court in Punjab’s Pathankot finding six out of the seven accused guilty on charges of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl belonging to the Bakarwal community in Jammu and Kashmir.

    A seventh accused, Vishal, who is the son of main accused Sanjhi Ram, was acquitted in the judgment passed by District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh. The quantum of punishment is likely to be announced at 2 pm on Monday. “The court has convicted six persons. Son of one of the accused Sanji Ram, Vishal has been acquitted,” Farooqi Khan, lawyer of victim’s family said after the sentencing.

  • 15:01 (IST)

    NCW calls for ‘harshest punishment’ for convicts
    The National Commission for Women has welcomed the Pathankot court’s decision convicting six persons in the Kathua case and sought harshest punishment for them.
    NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said, “I welcome the decision of the court and request them to give harshest punishment and hang them to set example for others because cases against minors are increasing and it would set an example.”
  • Three cops convicted for destroying evidenceThree police officers have been convicted for destruction of evidence in the Kathua rape and murder case, said advocate representing the victim in the case. “Police officials Tilak Raj, Anand Dutta and Surender Verma were convicted under section 201 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) for causing destruction of evidence,” said Mubeen Farooqui, victim’s advocate told reporters outside the court.

    The main accused in the case Sanji Ram was booked under section 302 (murder), 376D (gang rape), 363 (kidnapping), 120b (criminal conspiracy), 343 (wrongful confinement) of the RPC.

    ANI

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Pathankot special court convicts 6 for rape, murder of 8-yr-old in J&K

    The Kathua case was brought to a conclusion on Monday with a special court in Punjab’s Pathankot finding six out of the seven accused guilty on charges of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl belonging to the Bakarwal community in Jammu and Kashmir.

    A seventh accused, Vishal, who is the son of main accused Sanjhi Ram, was acquitted in the judgment passed by District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh. The quantum of punishment is likely to be announced at 2 pm on Monday. “The court has convicted six persons. Son of one of the accused Sanji Ram, Vishal has been acquitted,” Farooqi Khan, lawyer of victim’s family said after the sentencing.

  •  

    15:01 (IST)

    NCW calls for ‘harshest punishment’ for convicts
    The National Commission for Women has welcomed the Pathankot court’s decision convicting six persons in the Kathua case and sought harshest punishment for them.
    NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said, “I welcome the decision of the court and request them to give harshest punishment and hang them to set example for others because cases against minors are increasing and it would set an example.”
  •  

    14:59 (IST)

    Shah Faesal lauds Jammu and Kashmir Police for probe 
    Bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal lauded the police for securing the conviction of the accused persons.
    “Congratulations to @JmuKmrPolice for getting Raisina Kathua rapists convicted. Politicians tried their best to sabotage the movement for justice to A (the victim). But the Honble Court and the law enforcement agencies stood their ground. Pray we never have to see such horror again,” he tweeted.
  •  

    14:52 (IST)

    Quantum of punishment likely at 4 pm

    Defence lawyer Ankur Sharma, after the pronouncement of the judgment in the Kathua rape and murder case which saw six of the accused being held guilty, said that the judgment was “bad and prejudiced”. He also said that the quantum of punishment will be declared at 4 pm.

    The defence is now likely to capitalise on the acquittal of the sn of main accused Sanjhi Ram saying that the court had thrown the credibility of the prosecution’s chargesheet into doubt with its acquittal, CNN-News18 reported.

  •  

    14:40 (IST)

    Quantum of punishment against six convicted to be pronounced soon

    The quantum of punishment is likely to be pronounced soon. National Commission for Women’s Rekha Sharma called for capital punishment for the perpetrators who were found guilty by the Pathankot court on Monday.

    One of the prosecution lawyers, Mubeen Farooq, also said that they would pursue capital punishment for the guilty.

    (Image: News18)

  •  

    14:33 (IST)

    Prosecution lawyers likely to challenge acquittal of seventh accused

    The prosecution team of lawyers, fighting the Kathua rape and murder case on behalf of the victim’s family, said that they would consider appealing against the acquittal of Vishal, son of the main accused Sanjhi Ram, after examining the judgment.

    “We have sought capital punishment against all three accused convicted of murder and gang rape. It was hard work of all of us and a perfect blend of investigation and legal brains. We have achieve 99 percent result,” they said in a statement quoted by The Indian Express.

  •  

    14:26 (IST)

    Defence lawyer rues judgment in case, says evidence was ‘insufficient’

    AK Sawhney, one of the defence lawyers in the Kathua rape and murder case was quoted by News18 as saying, ” The judgment is based on the perversity of evidence. Evidence was both insufficient and incredible.”

  •  

    14:13 (IST)

    Defence lawyer to request mitigated sentence for accused convicted of destroying evidence

    Lawyer AK Sawhney, the Defence counsel in the Kathua rape and murder case, told News18 that he had asked for the sentence against those of the six accused convicted for destruction of evidence to be mitigated as “they have already spent one and a half years in jail”.

  •  

    14:00 (IST)

    TIMELINE OF CASE:

    Here is the timeline of the Kathua rape and murder case so far, starting from latest to earliest

    16 April, 2018: Trial begins before the Principal Sessions Court judge, Kathua. All accused plead ‘not guilty’.
    7 May, 2018: The Supreme Court shifts the case from Kathua to Pathankot in Punjab. The apex court directs the trial to be fast-tracked and held in-camera, away from media gaze.
    3 June, 2019: Trial concludes.
  •  

    13:58 (IST)

    TIMELINE OF CASE:

    Here is the timeline of the Kathua rape and murder case so far, starting from latest to earliest

    9 April, 2018: The police file the chargesheet before the Kathua court against seven of the eight accused.
    10 April, 2018: Chargesheet filed against eighth accused who had claimed to be a juvenile. The police file an FIR against lawyers for protesting and attempting to prevent the crime branch officials from filing the charge sheet in the court on 9 April.
    14 April, 2018: BJP ministers who attended the Hindu Ekta Manch rally resign from the state Cabinet. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres terms the crime “horrific” and asks authorities to deliver justice.
  •  

    13:56 (IST)

    TIMELINE OF CASE:

    Here is the timeline of the Kathua rape and murder case so far, starting from latest to earliest

    22 January, 2018: Case is handed over to Jammu and Kashmir crime branch.
    16 February, 2018: A right-wing group, Hindu Ekta Manch, holds protests in support of one of the accused.
    1 March, 2018: Two ministers of the BJP, part of the state’s ruling coalition with the PDP, Chander Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh, attend a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch after the arrest of nephew of a caretaker of a ‘devisathan‘ (temple) in connection with the kidnapping and rape.
  •  

    13:55 (IST)

    TIMELINE OF CASE:

    Here is the timeline of the Kathua rape and murder case so far, starting from latest to earliest

    10 January, 2018: Eight-year-old girl belonging to the Bakarwal tribe goes missing in the Rasana village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district while grazing cattle.
    12 January, 2018: FIR is registered on the complaint of victim’s father at Hiranagar police station.
    17 January, 2018: Body of the girl is found. Post mortem confirms gangrape and murder.
  •  

    13:43 (IST)

    Deepika Rajawat says convictions are ‘victory for all’

    The victim’s family’s former defence lawyer Deepika Rajawat was jubilant about the Pathankot court’s conviction of the six accused in the case. She was quoted by CNN-News18 as saying, “It’s a big day and a victory for all of us. We must salute the crime branch for conducting the investigations in a professional manner.”

  •  

    13:03 (IST)

    Neither Jammu, nor Kashmir: Bakarwals who’ve come into focus after the Kathua rape case need to be given citizenship

    “The fact of the denial of burial grounds to the Bakkarwals is particularly poignant. It shows a steady decline in their relations with sedentary populations. Increasingly, for both the Kashmiri Muslim and the Jammu Hindus, the Bakkarwals are perceived as outsiders.

    As nomadic people, they also suffered acutely because of the militancy in the Valley. Many Bakkarwals, however, continued their migration up and down the mountains in-spite of the daunting odds posed by militancy, by adopting various diversifying strategies such as leaving their children behind with settled friends and relatives, as some young boys were kidnapped by militants.

    But incidents such as the Kathua rape have left them stunned. The Bakkarwals are not used to being in the news. Their way is to evade and move on. But how to negotiate this present time without entering the quagmire of the ‘civilised settled’?”

Those convicted include former revenue official Sanji Ram, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, two investigating officers — head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta and Parvesh Kumar.

Ram’s son Vishal is acquitted due to lack of evidence, while an accused juvenile faces a separate trial. His trial is yet to begin as a petition to determine his age is waiting for judgement in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Families of the convicted present at the court accused media for the verdict.

10:15 am (IST) The in-camera trial in the case that shook the nation ended on June 3, when district and sessions judge Tejwinder Singh had announced that the verdict was likely to be delivered today June 10.

10:24 am (IST) Elaborate security arrangements had been made in and around the court and in Kathua in view of the pronouncement of the judgement, officials said Sunday.

11:18 am (IST) Advocate Ankur Sharma, who appeared for one of the accused, says he expects an acquittal.

11:33 am (IST) Mother of the Kathua girl told that she wants the perpetrators hanged. She said, “We want justice. We want them to hang. It has been so long they haven’t been punished even now.”

11:38 am (IST) Court gives defense lawyers an opportunity to present arguments on the quantum of punishment. Defense lawyers say they will seek leniency as the prosecution has sought the death penalty for the guilty.

12:10 pm (IST) The court says the quantum of punishment will be announced at 2 pm.

12:17 pm (IST) The victim’s former counsel in the case, Deepika Rajawat, expresses her jubilation over the verdict. “It’s a big day and a victory for all of us. We must salute the Crime Branch for conducting the investigations in a professional manner,” she tells CNN-News18. Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat had remained the face of the Kathua gang-rape and murder trial even though the victim’s family sacked her in November last year.

12:24 pm (IST) People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti also welcomed the judgement saying, “High time we stop playing politics over a heinous crime where an 8-year-old child was drugged, raped repeatedly & then bludgeoned to death. Hope loopholes in our judicial system are not exploited & culprits get exemplary punishment.”

12:29 pm (IST) Advocate Mubeen Farooqui, who’s representing victim’s family, confirmed that the three accused – Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria, Parvesh Kumar – have been convicted under Sections 302 (Murder) and 376-D (Gang Rape) of the Ranbir Penal Code. Surendra Verma, Tilak Raj, and Anand Dutta have been convicted under Section 201, which pertains to the destruction of evidence.

1:27 pm (IST) Lawyer AK Sawhney, the Defence counsel in the Kathua rape and murder case, says that he has requested that sentence for Tilak Raj and others convicted under Section 201 (destruction of evidence) should be mitigated considering that they have already spent one and a half years in jail.

1:42 pm (IST) Defence Lawyer AK Sawhney in the Kathua rape and murder case, disagrees with the verdict and says, “Judgement is based on the perversity of evidence. Evidence was both insufficient and incredible.” The quantum of the sentence with be pronounced soon.

2:38 pm (IST) The Defence lawyers in the case are arguing over the quantum of punishment. The judge will pronounce the quantum of the sentence at 4 pm today.