A local court on Monday held three youths guilty in the case involving the death of a 20-year-old architecture student who was sexually assaulted and murdered after being given drug overdose in October 2014.
The court of additional and sessions judge Anshu Shukla will announce the quantum of sentence against the convicts, Rajat Beniwal (23), Kamal Singh (31) and Dilpreet Singh (24) on February 3.
The victim, who studied at an institute in Sector 34, was the daughter of a Sector 22 eatery owner. Her body was found in a drain on Rajpura Road near Shambhu barrier, 8km from Ambala, on October 21, 2014, though she had died two days earlier. Rajat Beniwal, a resident of Sector 51, was a student at the evening college, Panjab University, Kamal owned a dhaba in Sector 37-D, while Dilpreet was pursuing interior designing at the time of the incident.
After preliminary investigations, police said she was consuming heroin inside a car with Rajat, Kamal, and Dilpreet (with whom she was allegedly in a relationship) in SAS Nagar and she died due to drug overdose.
Police claimed that Rajat, Kamal and Dilpreet panicked after finding the victim dead and they drove up to the Shambhu barrier and dumped her body in a drain there. Initially, they were booked under section 304 ( culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 363 ( punishment for kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code. Charges of gang-rape and unnatural offence were added against the accused later after the victim’s family had moved an application in the court during the course of trial to add offences against the three. After getting the medical record and reports verified, these charges were added in the case.
However, the DNA report submitted by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) had indicated that the semen samples taken from the victim’s body didn’t match with those of the three youths.
The UT police on December 30 that year procured call details and mobile tower location of the victim, Rajat and Dilpreet. However, these details were not submitted in the charge-sheet, raising a question mark on police probe. The accused, Kamal, had moved an application to become prosecution witness in the case but the court rejected his plea.
Since the court order was not available, it was not clear exactly under what charges the three were convicted. Complainant’s counsel Manish Dewan, said, “We are happy with the verdict.”
VICTIM’S FAMILY FOR MAXIMUM PUNISHMENT
The victim’s father, also complainant in the case, said, “We are satisfied so far but the actual test is on the day of quantum of punishment will be announced.”
The deceased’s brother said, “We wish the three get capital punishment or maximum possible punishment since we have lost a family member.”