Three get lifer for murder, rape; three get 5 years jail for destruction of evidence, one acquitted

Innocents have been convicted; will appeal to HC: Family

11/06/2019



PATHANKOT, Jun 10: In a much publicized Rasana rape & Murder case in which allegedly an eight years girl was rape and murdered, the Sessions Judge Pathankote Dr. Tejwinder Singh today convicted and sentenced Deepak Khajuria, Parvesh Kumar @ Mannu, Sanji Ram u/s 302/376-D/120-B, 328/ 363/201/343 r/w section 34 RPC and also convicted Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surinder Kumar u/s 201 RPC r/section 34 & 120-B RPC, Court acquitted Vishal Jangotra s/o Sanji Ram.
Court after hearing both the sides at length the Court convicted Deepak Khajuria, Parvesh Kumar @ Mannu, Sanji Ram and awarded imprisonment for life and fine Rs 50,000 u/s 120-B RPC, imprisonment for life and fine Rs 100000 u/s 302 r/w section 34, u/s 376-D r/w 34 RPC rigorous imprisonment for a period of 25 years, u/s 376-D/511 rigorous imprisonment for a period of 10 years and fine Rs 25000/- u/s 328 RPC rigorous imprisonment for a period of 10 years and fine Rs 50,000/-, u/s 363 imprisonment for a period 7 years and fine Rs 50,000/-, u/s 201 RI for a period 5 years and fine Rs 50,000 and u/s 343 RI for two years and fine Rs 20,000/-.
Court awarded five years RI and fine Rs 50,000 to Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surinder Kumar u/s 201 RPC r/section 34 & 120-B RPC.
Court further clarified that all the sentences shall run concurrently and it is further clarified that the period of detention already undergone by the convicts, during the pendency of investigation/trial of this case shall be set-off against the substantive sentence of imprisonment awarded against all the convicts.
Sessions Judge Pathankote Dr. Tejwinder Singh in the 432 pages judgment while starting with judgment quoted a couplet "PINHA THA DAAM-E-SAKHT QAREED AASHIYAAN KE UDHNE HI NA PAAYE THE KI GIRFTAAR HUM HUE".
Court further held that in the present case, facts are many but truth is one that under a criminal conspiracy, an innocent eight years old minor girl has been kidnapped, wrongfully confined, drugged, raped and ultimately murdered. The perpetrators of this crime have acted in such a manner as if there is a 'law of the jungle' prevalent in the society. It has to be adjudicated in the present trial to find out the persons who were 'partners in the crime' so committed against the minor girl child and accordingly a"poetic justice' needs to be done to the perpetrators of the crime. It is well said that "Heaven or Hell are not geographically locations, our thoughts, actions and character creates the situation of heaven or hell for us".
Court further observed that needless to say that commission of this devilish and monstrous crime has sent shocking waves across the society and the actual guilty needs to be brought under the sword of justice.
Court further said in that needless to mention here that the crime committed against minor child is shameful, inhumane and barbaric but as per Indian Criminal Law, the evidence brought on record has to be tested on a touchstone in order to find out the real culprits, so that no innocent person is crushed under the wheels of law in an unjust manner.
The day-to-day trial commenced in the first week of June last year at the district and sessions court in Pathankot in the neighboring state of Punjab, about 100 km from Jammu and 30 km from Kathua, after the Supreme Court ordered on May 7, 2018 that the case be shifted out of J&K.
The family members of the accused who have been convicted today were present in the Pathankote District Court premises and said that the accused who have been convicted whether for murder, rape or destruction of evidence were totally innocent, and were framed up and now wrongly convict the Court and the family members have decided to file appeal in the High Court. The decision is wrong and unacceptable and would be appealed as it is clear case that if there was no link connecting the murder then how could the Court convict the accused and not give them the benefit of doubt. Neither was there any report of narco analysis or lie detector test conducted on the accused despite demanding the same, therefore just to target the Hindus of the area in Rassana this false case was built up, said the family members.
Mr A K Sawhney Advocate for the accused Tilak Raj with Advocate Anil Sharma while responding to queries of the media said that his client was charged with conspiracy for murder, rape and destruction of evidence in lieu of bribe which the prosecution had failed to prove but the Court has convicted his client for destruction of evidence only and awarded 5 years punishment, which he said would be appealed before the High Court and the matter would considered now by the High Court as filing an appeal was a matter of right of the convicts.
Court after hearing both the sides observed that on the basis of evidence, statement of account of bank, attendance sheet, categorically proves the fact that accused Vishal Jangotra during the day of occurrence was not present in Kathua rather he was present in Meeranpur, Muzaffarnagar UP and was appearing for his examinations. As such it is manifest that accused Vishal Jangotra is an innocent in this trial and accordingly his "Plea of Alibi" is accepted by this court and acquitted him all the charges framed against him in this Court.

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