Lawyers want to peruse Bombay HC’s order before proceeding with trial

The sessions court here on Friday adjourned the hearing in the photojournalist’s gang-rape case till Tuesday, after the defence lawyers said they wanted to peruse the Bombay High Court’s order before proceeding with the trial.

The Bombay High Court had on Thursday refused to interfere “at this stage” with the sessions court’s decision to frame a fresh charge for repeat offence of rape which can attract the death penalty.

The special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam also said the High Court’s order should be perused carefully.

Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi then adjourned the case to April 1 after receiving assurance from the lawyers that they will proceed with the case on that day.

The additional charge was framed under 376(e) of IPC after the sessions court accepted the prosecution’s application in this regard.

Three of the convicts — Kasim Bengali, Vijay Jadhav and Mohammed Salim Ansari — have already been sentenced to life imprisonment in the case related to gang-rape of an 18-year-old telephone operator which had taken place in the desolate Shakti Mills compound about a month before the photojournalist’s gang-rape there last year.

According to the prosecution, this qualifies them for punishment under the amended section in the photojournalist’s gang-rape case.

The 22-year-old magazine photojournalist was raped by Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehman and a minor boy when she had gone to the Shakti Mills compound in the Central Mumbai with a male colleague on an assignment on August 22, 2013.