Shakti Mills gang rape: ‘Her evidence is standing like rock’

Updated - November 16, 2021 09:25 pm IST

Published - April 11, 2014 11:24 am IST - MUMBAI

Drawing a parallel between the gang rape of a photojournalist and that of Nirbhaya, the Principal Sessions judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi observed while awarding the death sentence to three repeat offenders in the case: “Social abhorrence and the national shock created by this incident was just parallel to the one evoked by Nirbhaya incident in Delhi. In that case the victim was not left alive. In this case, the victim is left alive but society is yet to recover from the aftermath of the shock.”

Asserting the point that the incident had shook the collective conscience of society, the judgement reads, “This incident has happened even before the uproar and anguish created by Nirbhaya incident calmed down, despite stringent laws being made, young youths are repeatedly indulging into such barbaric inhuman offence, having least regard to the sanctity of human life and individual dignity, totally defying law and order, was beyond toleration and understanding of the society.”

The judge also remarked that the incident had dented the image of the city, for being a safe city for women. “In the heart of the city, like Mahalaxmi area also, young girls are not secure or safe but subjected to most savaged form of sexual assault by the young boys of this very city, was shocking to one and all. It created a feeling of helplessness in parents, in women, in girls and in every section of the society.”

On the point of awarding the death sentence Ms. Joshi observed, “The repetitiveness of the acts of gang rape in planned, systematic manner was shocking. To give lesser punishment to the accused in such situation would be to render the justice delivery system of the country a suspect.”

The judge also applauded the valour of the victim and opined that her statement was of such sterling quality that no can afford to not believe it. “Her sole testimony is of such sterling quality, giving vivid and truthful account of entire incident, that it clinches the fate of the case. It is alone sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused on all the counts. Her evidence is standing like rock. The trauma faced by her reliving the entire incident at the time of giving evidence in the court is so touching and heartrending that no one can afford or dare to disbelieve her.”

Also appreciating the courage shown by the male friend, the judge stated, “The courageous stand taken by both the victim and her male friend in lodging the report immediately with the police and of the male friend in supporting her in entire endeavour, not only during the incident or thereafter in the trial also needs to be encouraged and appreciated.”

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