Court adds repeat offender charge against auto gang-rape case accused
Mohammad Irfan, 29, who was convicted in a December 2016 gang-rape case on August 1, has also been charged with Section 376-E of the Indian Penal Code, which prescribes death penalty or life in prison for repeat rape offenders.
A year ago, Irfan, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh and father to four children, including two daughters, was awarded “life imprisonment until death” in another gangrape case from November 2017.
On August 7, the prosecution had moved an application in a local court praying that Section 376E be added against Irfan in the 2016 gangrape case.
According to Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, which was introduced following the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, the definition of rape was widened to include oral and digital penetration, and Section 376E was added to award the death penalty or life imprisonment to a convict, who is a repeat offender under Sections 376, 376A and 376D.
Section 376A includes causing death of the victim, and 376D charges the convict with gangrape, an offence that carries a sentence of 20 years to life.
Advocate Manjit Singh said, “A charge can be added at any stage before the pronouncement of the punishment. Section 376E is added to enhance the punishment for repeat rape offenders. The prosecution only needs to attach a certified copy of the previous conviction’s order.”
The quantum of punishment, which was scheduled to be announced on Thursday, was postponed to August 13 due to advocates’ strike.
Last week, Irfan, and Kamal Hasan, 21, were held guilty of gangraping a 21-year-old call centre employee in an auto-rickshaw on December 12, 2016. After the woman hailed Irfan’s three-wheeler near the Piccadily roundabout to go home, he instead took her to an isolated place, where the duo took turns to rape her at knifepoint.
The accused then dropped her at Tribune Chowk. An FIR was registered on December 13, 2016.