Sunday, October 2, 2022

Prosecution seeks death penalty in Sakinaka rape-murder case

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The Mumbai Police on Wednesday sought the death penalty for a 44-year-old man who was convicted on charges of raping and murdering a woman earlier this week. The special court will be pronouncing its judgment on Thursday.

Mohan Chauhan was convicted on Monday on charges under sections 302 (murder), 376A (person committing an offence of rape and inflicting injury which causes death or causes the woman to be in a persistent vegetative state), 376 (2)(m) (while committing rape causes grievous bodily harm or maims or disfigures or endangers the life of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Maharashtra Police Act.

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Special Public Prosecutor Mahesh Mule submitted that the attack on the victim was gruesome and it involved a brutal attack on her private parts, which was so severe that it caused her death. It was also submitted that the attack was ‘cold-blooded’ and the accused had shown ‘scant regard for womanhood’. The incident, which occurred at odd hours, had ‘raised fear for women’s safety in a metropolitan city like Mumbai’.

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Chauhan’s lawyer Kalpana Waskar, who was appointed from the legal aid panel, said the convict has no  criminal antecedents and his dependents, including his wife, will suffer if he is given the death penalty. It was also submitted that he had cooperated during the proceedings and the incident cannot be categorised as rarest of rare. Chauhan also told the court that he was falsely implicated.

However, during the hearing, he was asked to leave the court for a brief period due to his misbehaviour. SPP Mule told the court that this should be considered as the convict was showing no repentance or remorse.

On the intervening night of September 9 and September 10, the victim was found lying in an injured condition in Saki Naka. She was taken to a civic-run hospital, where she passed away on September 11.

Police arrested Chauhan and a chargesheet was filed in the case within 18 days, in which it was claimed that he had sexually assaulted the victim after she refused to have sex with him.

During the assault, he allegedly forcefully inserted a sharp object into her private parts, causing fatal injuries.

Special Judge H C Shende will pass the order on the quantum of punishment on Thursday.

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