A sessions court in Mumbai is likely to pronounce the quantum of sentence to the convicts in the Shakti Mills photojournalist gangrape case on Friday. The sessions court on Thursday held guilty three convicts in the Shakti Mills photojournalist gang rape case under an amended IPC section, which entails death penalty, for committing repeated offence.
This is the first conviction under section 376 E, meant for repeat offenders in rape cases brought in by the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2013 after the Delhi gangrape case. The sentence could extend to death for the repeat offenders.
Principal sessions judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi found the three repeat offenders Mohammad Qasim Shaikh alias Bangali, 21, Mohammad Salim Ansari, 28, and Vijay Jadhav, 19, guilty under 376 E. The trio can be sentenced for the rest of their natural lives or death.
After the trio was convicted in the gang rapes of both the photojournalist and a telephone operator, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had moved an application to add this charge against them.
A total of six witnesses were examined and after final arguments by the prosecution and defence, the court gave the verdict.
Apart from the three common convicts, the fourth convict in the photojournalist case, Siraj Rehman Khan will also be sentenced on Friday. The prosecution, however, cannot ask for death in Siraj’s case as he is involved in one gang rape case (photojournalist).
A photojournalist and a telephone operator were gang raped by five persons at the Shakti Mill compound in central Mumbai last year. With three convicts common to both cases, a total of five persons were put to trial in October.
On March 20, the court found the five persons guilty of both cases and sentenced four of them for rest of their natural life in the telephone operator case.