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CBI Court sentences Ranchi rape accused to death

Pronounced guilty: Rahul Raj leaving a special CBI court after the hearing on Saturday.

Pronounced guilty: Rahul Raj leaving a special CBI court after the hearing on Saturday.  

A special CBI court on Saturday sentenced to death Rahul Raj, who had been convicted for the 2016 rape and murder of a fourth-semester engineering student in Ranchi.

The court found Raj, 23, a native of Bihar’s Nalanda district, guilty of raping and murdering the student in December 2016 and convicted him on Friday. The court also slapped a fine of ₹20,000 on the convict.

The victim’s half-burnt body had been found at her house in Buti Basti area of Jharkhand’s capital city Ranchi. A subsequent autopsy confirmed that the student had been raped and strangulated to death before being burnt. The crime had triggered a huge protest march by students in Ranchi.

Habitual offender

In March 2018, the State government had transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Raj, a native of Bihar’s Nalanda district, figured as a prime suspect as he had been living in the neighbourhood of the victim and went missing after the incident.

A ‘habitual offender’, Raj was also alleged to have been ‘absconding’ in connection with the rape of a minor girl in Patna and had been named as an accused in another case in Lucknow. He was taken into the CBI’s custody on June 23, 2019, from Lucknow and brought to Ranchi, where his blood samples matched the DNA samples collected from the victim’s body. The CBI filed a charge sheet against Raj and the charges were framed on October 25, 2019.

The trial started on November 8 and during the day-to-day hearings more than 30 prosecution witnesses were examined over a period of 16 days.

The court wrapped up the trial in a little over a month and found Raj ‘guilty’ under sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 449 (house trespass) of the Indian Penal Code.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:26:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cbi-court-sentences-ranchi-rape-accused-to-death/article30368467.ece

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