Kathua case verdict: Life imprisonment for 3 convicted in rape and murder; 3 others given 5-year terms for destroying evidence

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Updated: June 10, 2019 5:12:51 PM

The mutilated body of the eight-year-old girl was found in a forest in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir after two days of the crime. The case was transferred from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot by the Supreme Court.

A Pathankot court on Monday delivered its verdict in the Kathua rape and murder case involving a minor girl.

A Punjab court on Monday convicted six of the seven persons accused in connection with the rape and murder case of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua in January this year. Those convicted include village head Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma and Head constable Tilak Raj.

While former revenue official Sanjhi Ram, policeman Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar have been convicted of rape and murder, Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surinder Kumar — all cops — have been convicted for destruction of evidence.

Three convicts — Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar, and Deepak Khajuria — have been awarded life imprisonments and three — Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surinder Kumar — have got five years in jail. The prosecution lawyer while speaking to news channels said that he was disappointed with the punishment. He said that the case was rarest of rare and the convicts deserved capital punishment.

Reports suggest that the defence lawyers may challenge the verdict after studying the court judgement. They claim that the charge sheet filed by J&K crime branch police had many loopholes.

The seventh accused in the case is Vishal, Sanjhi Ram’s son, has been acquitted. His plea that he be considered as a minor was turned down. The eighth accused in the case is a minor and a separate trial is underway by the Juvenile Justice Board.

The mutilated body of the eight-year-old girl was found in a forest in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir after two days of the crime. The case was transferred from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot by the Supreme Court. The in-camera trial was conducted on a day-to-day basis following the Supreme Court order and was completed on June 3.

A total of 114 witnesses were examined by both prosecution and defence counsels in the case.

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