Verdict in photojournalist gangrape case likely today

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nikamA sessions court trying the Shakti Mills photojournalist gangrape case is likely to pronounce its verdict on Thursday on the fate of three common convicts, who have been charged under a fresh rape section, which entails death penalty.

“The court completed recording the deposition of three witnesses who were recalled on Tuesday. It will start hearing the final arguments tomorrow after which the verdict may come out,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

The court had last month framed an additional charge under section 376 (e) (punishment for repeated offence of rape) of IPC which attracts the maximum penalty of capital punishment.

Kasim Bengali, Vijay Jadhav and Mohammed Salim Ansari are the common accused who are also convicted in the telephone operator gangrape case. The 18-year-old telephone operator was gang raped on the premises of Shakti Mills in July last year a month before the photojournalist was brutalised on August 22.

Meanwhile the court heard in-camera one of the accused who said that he wanted to say something. The three men have already been sentenced to life imprisonment in the tele-operator gangrape case.

According to prosecution, this qualifies them for punishment under the amended section in the photojournalist gangrape case.

The 22-year-old photo journalist of a magazine was gang raped by Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehman and a minor boy when she had gone to the Shakti Mills compound in the Central Mumbai with a male colleague on an assignment.

The Bombay High Court had last week refused to interfere with the sessions court’s decision to frame a fresh charge for repeat offence of rape.