Just two days after the Centre’s ordinance that gives rapists the death penalty for particularly heinous crimes, a Bihar court sent a man to the gallows for raping and murdering his four-year-old niece — and took just nine days to do so.
Sanjay Rishi, 35, is the fourth convicted rapist to be awarded the death sentence in the state in the past 10 days — a period in which India’s rape laws have come under intense focus following the Delhi gang rape and protests, the Justice JS Verma panel’s recommendations for harsher punishments for crimes against women and the ordinance.
The little girl went missing on January 23. Police arrested Rishi as she was last seen with him. During questioning, he confessed to raping her and then killing her when she started to cry.
A charge sheet was filed within 24 hours of the confession. The case went to the district court on January 28. “We had the judgment within five days,” said Katihar SP Kim. “Hopefully, this will serve as an example of how justice can be delivered speedily.”
The court also handed Rishi a life sentence, which will “run concurrently”, and fined him Rs. 25,000.