Mumbai: The counsel of accused in Shakti Mill rape case on Friday argued before the Bombay high court that why repeated rape offender was given death penalty when crime such as grievous hurt and attempt to murder does not get the same punishment.
A division bench of Justice B.P. Dharmadhikari and Justice Revati MohiteDere was hearing a petition filed by convict Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali and Salim Ansari.
The trio was sentenced to death by sessions court for committing two gang rapes at Shakti Mill compound. According to them, there existed an ‘enormous difference between the harm caused’ by them and ‘the punishment’ meted out to them.
On Friday, accused counsel Yug Choudhary, questioned the idea behind section 376 (E) that provides death sentence for a repeat offender of rape. He argued that while the section for enhanced punishment was introduced in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) through the above Act, the legislature had failed to introduce a well laid out procedure in Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for implementation of the new IPC section.
“For instance, while the section provides that a person who has previously been convicted for the offence of rape can be awarded the enhanced sentence of death penalty in case of repeat offence, it does not clarify about the minimum time gap between the two offences or the conviction date of both offences,” advocate Choudhary argued.
“In this case, the sessio-ns court convicted the acc-used in two separate cases of rape committed a mon-th apart. But the conviction in both cases was aw-arded within a day from each other,” he argued.
Advocate Choudhary also cited previous judgements of the Supreme Court and law commission reports that prescribed enhanced punishment for repeat offenders only after ascertaining the possibility of their reform after their first sentence.