Shakti Mills gang-rape: Bombay HC commutes death penalty of 3 convicts

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The three convicts became the first in the country to be awarded under the amended Indian Penal Code Section 376 (E).
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Shakti Mills gang-rape: Bombay HC commutes death penalty of 3 convicts
Bombay High Court | File image

Shakti Mills gang-rape: Bombay HC commutes death penalty of 3 convicts

Guwahati: The Bombay High Court on Thursday commuted to life imprisonment the death penalty award to three repeated offenders in connection with the gang-rape of a photo-journalist inside Mumbai’s defunct Shakti Mills compound in 2013.

The court said it “cannot ignore the fact that offence has shocked the conscience of the society.”

“Death puts an end to the concept of repentance… It cannot be said the accused deserved only death penalty. They deserved religious imprisonment for life to repent for the offence committed by them. Not to assimilate in society. There is no scope of reformation,” it added.

A division bench of Justice SS Jadhav and Justice PK Chavan, while upholding the conviction, commuted the trial court’s 2014 order of Principal Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, giving the death penalty to the accused trio — Qasim Shaikh Bengali (21), Salim Ansari (28), and Vijay Jadhav (19).

With the trial court’s verdict in 2014, the three convicts became the first in the country to be awarded under the amended Indian Penal Code Section 376 (E) providing for life term in jail or death for rape cases or repeat offenders.

Section 376(E) which provides life imprisonment or death for repeat offenders of rape was added to the IPC through the Criminal (Law) Amendment Act 2013, following outrage over the December 2021 Delhi gangrape.

The incident dates back to August 22, 2013. A young photojournalist, who was accompanied by her colleague on assignment, was raped by four men and a minor inside the Shakti Mills compound.

The Mumbai police cracked the case within 24 hours and arrested all the accused within a week.

Read More : Man held in Assam’s Cachar for allegedly raping 15-yr-old autistic girl

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