‘Offence of rape is a trauma with which the victim will have to live throughout her life’
“It is an individual that commits the crime. Society or the system or the Internet cannot be blamed, to take a lenient view. This aspect is very important when the offence is that of rape,” said Principle Sessions judge Shalini Phalsankar-Joshi on Friday.
She rejected the plea of the four persons convicted for the gang rape of a telephone operator at Shakti Mills — Vijay Jadhav, Qasim Sheikh alias Bengali, Salim Ansari and Mohammad Ashfak Shaikh — that their socioeconomic backgrounds be taken into account.
“Offence of rape is serious and brutal. It violates the victim and society at large. It is a violation of the fundamental Right to Life guaranteed by our Constitution. The offence of rape is a trauma and agony with which the victim will have to live throughout her life,” Ms. Phansalkar-Joshi observed while dictating the order on the quantum of sentence against the four convict.
Arguing his case for maximum penalty, special public prosecutor ujjwal nikam told the court: “There are no grounds to justify that these accused can be reformed. They are demons in human form,” Mr. Nikam said. “They referred to the victim as maal [object] as if the young girl was a property that could be looted. The have left the victim in a vegetative state of mind. She suffers from post trauma stress,” added Mr. Nikam.
Reacting to the sentence, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said: “After the Nirbhaya episode, the State government resolved to prevent such crimes against women. This case will serve as a deterrent and restrain others from committing such offences.”
On Thursday, the court had convicted five persons including Siraj Sheikh — one minor is being tried by the Juvenile Justice Court — in two gang rape cases involving a telephone operator and a photojournalist at Shakti Mills last year. Of the five, Jadhav, Bengali and Ansari were involved in both the cases.