The Juvenile Justice Board on Tuesday convicted two minors in two separate gangrape cases at the Shakti Mills compound in 2013. The Board directed them to be sent to a reform school in Nashik for three years.
“We argued in the court that the minors committed the most heinous crime and a strong action may be taken against them. But since they are juveniles, this was the maximum punishment under law,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told The Hindu .
Principal Magistrate G.B. Jadhav and member Mary Shettiyar found the two juveniles in conflict with law and guilty under sections of the IPC including that of gangrape, criminal conspiracy and molestation.
While one minor was convicted in the photojournalist gangrape case, the other was held guilty in the gangrape of a telephone operator.
A 22-year-old photo journalist was gangraped by Vijay Jadhav, Qasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehman and a minor when she had gone to the Shakti Mills compound in Central Mumbai with a male colleague on an assignment on August 22, 2013.
Two weeks after the gangrape came to light, a telephone operator from the city came forward to register a police complaint alleging that she too was gangraped at Shakti Mills in July 2013. She had gone there with her boyfriend who was also tied up while she was raped. She fled Mumbai after the incident and later married her boyfriend.
On April 4, Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi >had sentenced to death the three common accused in the cases — Vijay Jadhav, Qasim Sheikh alias Bengali and Salim Ansari.
The three were convicted under Section 376 E of the Indian Penal Code which was introduced under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act after the December 2012 Delhi gangrape. The new section allows for death penalty in the case of repeat sexual offenders.
In April 2014, the Maharashtra government had moved the Bombay High Court seeking confirmation of the death sentence awarded to the three repeat offenders.
On July 17, the Bombay High Court will decide the date to commence the hearing on the plea for confirmation of the death sentence awarded to the three common convicts.