Accused first attempted to fake it as robbery-gone-wrong

A Rohini sessions court has sentenced a man, who raped his younger brother's wife and subsequently strangulated her to death to cover up his heinous crime, to rigorous imprisonment for life, with the direction that he should not be granted remission till he underwent an actual sentence of 25 years.

Sentencing 38-year-old Aman Kumar Rastogi, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau wrote in her order: “Convict set his evil eyes upon the wife of his younger brother and taking advantage of the situation tried to commit rape upon her and sexually assaulted her. However, when the deceased put up a stiff resistance, he brutally killed her by strangulating her. The multiple injuries present on the body of the deceased speak volumes of the struggle and resistance offered by the deceased and the pain that the deceased must have undergone before she died. The convict has destroyed and ruined the entire family of his younger brother whose wife he has brutally killed and whose infant child was rendered motherless at the age of two and a half years.”

Rastogi, a resident of Shalimar Bagh, committed the crime on the intervening night of June 25 and 26, 2004, when his family members – including his wife and children, parents, and younger brother – were away from home. The victim and her two-year-old daughter were the others present in the house when he forced himself on her. Instead of calling the police, he called up a cousin and the father of the deceased. Further, to create the appearance of a robbery-gone-wrong, he removed the wire mesh of the window to indicate an outside entry and also removed ornaments from the victim's body.

The cousin, who arrived, informed the police about the incident after nearly an hour. When the victim's father arrived, he got suspicious of the accused and pointed this out to the police. The accused was interrogated when it was observed that there were scratch marks and bruises on his chest and a bite mark on his middle finger which he was unable to explain. Similarly on the body of the deceased there were bite marks on her cheeks and scratches on her chest, arms, neck and legs and her tooth was found lying broken near her body.

“It was this which proved that the deceased had put a stiff resistance and struggle and the involvement of the accused was writ large as it was also noticed that a button of the shirt of accused and the pocket of his shirt was partially torn,” Dr. Lau noted. This broken button was recovered and was tallied with the other buttons of the shirt worn by the accused at the time of the incident and was found to be matching as per the FSL report.

On being interrogated, the accused broke down and admitted to the offence and made a disclosure which helped to recover the victim's jewellery.

“There is no eyewitness to the incident but the circumstances speak for themselves. On the basis of the medical evidence and the forensic report coupled with the subsequent conduct of the accused and the testimony of the family members of the deceased, this court… has held the accused Aman Kumar Rastogi guilty of the offence under Section 302, 201 and 354 Indian Penal Code and convicted him accordingly,” the judge said.

The prosecution had demanded the death sentence for the convict submitting that this was a case which fell in the “rarest of rare” category.

Keywords: murder

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