Bengal gang-rape case: Judge reserves quantum of punishment

Bengal gang-rape case: Judge reserves quantum of punishment

Bengal gang-rape case: Judge reserves quantum of punishment

After finding three men guilty of raping and murdering a 21-year-old girl at Kamduni in 2013, the city court judge reserved announcing the quantum of punishment after studying submission of the defence lawyer.

The council of Ansar Ali, one of the defendants, argued in a submission to District and Sessions Judge Sanchita Sarkar that he should be given life term over death sentence quoting precedents. Ansar, along with Saiful Ali, and Aminul Ali, have been found guilty of gang rape and murder under Sections 376(d), 302 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

Citing a Supreme Court judgement that allowed a defendent’s lawyer to argue over the quantum of sentence if it were a choice between life term and capital punishment, Ansar’s lawyer also submitted several instances where death sentences were commuted to life. Judge Sarkar would study the submission and hear the case again from 11 am onwards on Saturday, after which she would likely pronounce the quantum of punishment.

While Ansar, Saiful and Aminul can be sentenced to death under law, three others — Imanul Islam, Aminul Islam and Bhola Naskar — have been found guilty of gang rape, criminal conspiracy, and causing disappearance of evidence. The latter three are most likely to receive a life term.

Ansar’s lawyer also argued that his crime is not the “rarest of rare” cases that qualifies for a death sentence. The court found the six men guilty of gang-raping the 21-year-old girl from Kamduni in North 24 Parganas, around 20 Km from Kolkata, on June 7, 2013.

The men took the girl to an abandoned farmhouse as she was returning home from college, where they raped her, tore her legs up to the navel, slit her throat and dumped her body in a nearby field.

The defendant’s lawyers stated that they will appeal before the Calcutta High Court and challenge the city sessions court’s verdict.

Claiming Ansar to be innocent, his brother Arshad told reporters, “My brother has definitely been framed. May be it’s a political conspiracy or some kind of vendetta, but he didn’t kill anybody.”

The victim’s family expressed dissatisfaction with the acquittal of two other accused on Thursday due to lack of evidence.