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Kathua rape and murder: Bar dissatisfied with punishment but appreciate court for concluding trial in 7 months

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar, express its dissatisfaction over the order of sentence passed by a Pathankot Court against three accused persons, who were found guilty of conspiracy, kidnapping, drugging, gang-raping and killing of an eight year old Bakerwal girl at Rasana Kathua, Jammu, but has awarded them life imprisonment and fine u/s 120-B, 302, 376-D, 328 and 360 RPC.
“The accused persons having committed a dastardly act, therefore, they deserved a death penalty but the court has awarded them lenient punishment of life imprisonment, for no obvious reason,” the Kashmir lawyers’ body said.
The court has also convicted other three accused persons who are police officials u/s 201 and 343 RPC and has sentenced them to five years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50000.
“Though, these three persons being part of the conspiracy and being police officials deserved the punishment of maximum punishment prescribed by Section 201 and 343 RPC. The Court has also acquitted Vishal Jangotra, the son of Sanji Ram, the mastermind, by giving him the benefit of doubt, “to which he was not entitled under law.” However, notwithstanding the “lenient punishment awarded to the accused persons, the judgment pronounced by the Pathankot Court is a slap on the face of all those, who try to communalize the crime and besides vilifying the victim, came out openly in support of the accused persons.”
The verdict is also bound to prevent others from committing such like acts on hapless victims and will also work as a deterrent against those, who derive pleasure in committing such beastly acts, it said.
The Bar Association also appreciates the steps taken by the Pathankot Court in completing the trial of the case within seventeen months, during the course of which it recorded the statement of 114 witnesses without availing a single holiday during the period and after hearing the arguments of the respective counsel, pronounced its verdict swiftly, so as to ensure justice to the victim family.

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