While holding security guard Sajjad Mughal alias Sajjad Pathan guilty of the murder of 25-year-old lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha in her Mumbai flat in 2012, a sessions court observed that he had entered the flat illegally with a knife that implied his intention to commit rape.
“The accused went to the house of the deceased with an intention to ravish her. He took a knife with him and when he failed in his mission, he assaulted her,” the court observed in its order of June 30, convicting Mughal.
The court, on Thursday, will hear the arguments over the quantum of punishment to be handed out to Mughal. The charges of murder and assault, under which Mughal was held guilty, attract a maximum punishment of life imprisonment or death.
The court further observed that the chemical analysis (CA) reports proved that the hair samples recovered from the hand of Purkayastha and the DNA profile of 22-year-old Mughal, were a match. Moreover, the blood stains on the clothes of the convict had matched Purkyastha’s blood samples, the report said. According to the observations, the injuries on Purkayastha’s body, the spot panchnama and the blood trail from the victim’s bedroom to the neighbour’s house proved that “she tried with all her strength to save herself.”
The court also observed that the motive to ravish Purkayastha “when he saw the victim in scanty clothes” was proved through the statements of the witnesses to whom Mughal had reportedly confessed his crime to.
According to designated Judge Vrushali Joshi, these facts were sufficient to hold Mughal guilty under the Sections 302 (murder), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 449 (house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death) of the Indian Penal Code.
Hours after killing Purkayastha, Mughal had allegedly called up two of his friends and boasted about the incident, said the police. The statements of the two friends are part of the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch. Almost a year after the incident, Avik Sengupta (27), Pallavi’s fiance and a prime witness in the case, died due to inflammatory brain disorder. Sengupta, in his statement to the police, had mentioned that Purkayastha had informed him in July 2012 that Mughal used to ogle at her.
The court has also maintained that, “all 39 witnesses were consistent. The prosecution has proved offence against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”