The four accused were released in August last year, seven months before completion of sentence

The High Court of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday affirmed the judgment passed by the district court judge, Kangra, at Dharamsala, convicting the four persons accused of causing death to medical student Aman Kachroo and sentencing them to four years’ imprisonment.

In addition, the Division Bench comprising Justice R.B. Mishra and Justice Surinder Singh enhanced the fine on the convicts from Rs.10,000 to Rs.1,00,000 each.

Kachroo was a first-year student and the three accused Navin Kumar Verma, Ajay Verma and Mukul Sharma second-year students at the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda. The fourth accused, Abhinav Verma, was doing his internship at the college at the time of the incident.

As per the prosecution charges, the four accused had gone to the first-year students’ hostel in an inebriated state during the intervening night of 6th and 7th March, 2009, made the junior students stand in a line and beaten them up. Kachroo was slapped and his head pushed against a wall, due to which he suffered perforation in a ear. He died the next day. All the accused were less than 21 years of age at the time.

The trial in the district court commenced on June 1, 2009, and the accused — acquitted of charges under Sections 302, 323 and 526, IPC, and convicted under Sections 304-II, 342, 352 and 34, IPC — were sentenced to four years’ rigorous imprisonment on November 11, 2010. All the accused were released on August 15 last year — at least seven months before the end of their terms — which had invited sharp criticism from Aman’s father, Rajendra Kachroo. Mr. Kachroo is currently monitoring the National Ragging Prevention Programme on behalf of the University Grants Commission.