Shakti Mills gang-rape case: Bombay HC sets aside death penalty, sends three accused to life imprisonment

The Bombay High Court has commuted the death sentence of three men convicted in the 2013 Shakti mills gang rape case to life imprisonment. ...

The Bombay High Court has commuted the death sentence of three men convicted in the 2013 Shakti mills gang rape case to life imprisonment.

In April 2014, a sessions court in Mumbai held five persons guilty in the gang-rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist at Shakti Mills in Mumbai. One of them was sentenced to life imprisonment and a second accused — a minor — was sent to a correctional facility. The remaining three had been handed down the death sentence.

According to Bar and Bench, Justices SS Jadhav and PK Chavan upheld the conviction by the Sessions Court but reduced the sentence to rigorous imprisonment for life.

"Constitutional court cannot award punishment based on public opinion. While setting aside the death sentence, it may be said that we took counter majority view but constitutional court is to follow the procedure," the high court held.

The convicts — Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali and Salim Ansari — represented by senior counsel Yug Chaudhry, had argued that the death sentence awarded to them was wrong in law since there existed an “enormous difference between the harm caused” by them and “the punishment” mated out to them.

The trio, through their lawyer, had told the Bombay High Court the death sentence violated their fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

With inputs from agencies

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Shakti Mills gang-rape case: Bombay HC sets aside death penalty, sends three accused to life imprisonment
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