Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Gender Rule of Law

Kathua rape case; Judgement pronounced, Justice done

Sabrangindia 10 Jun 2019
A special Pathankot Court on Monday, June 10, delivered its verdict in the Kathua rape case. The Court found six people guilty and sentenced three people to life imprisonment and three others to prison terms of over five years.

 
The verdict was delivered by District and Sessions Judge, Tejwinder Singh. The six people found guilty include Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the temple where the crime took place and his friend Parvesh Kumar. Four police personnel were also found guilty in the case. They are Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria, Sub inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj and Special Officer Surender Verma. 
 
The main accused in the case Sanji Ram, his friend Parvesh Kumar and a special police officer Deepak Khajuria were sentenced to life imprisonment for offences under Sections 302 (murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code. They have also been separately sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for the offence of gang rape under Section 376D of the Code and fined Rupees 1,00,000/- (rupees one lakh only)

Three police men - Special Police Officer Surender Verma, Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj - who had allegedly taken Rs 4 lakh as bribe from Sanji Ram for sabotaging the case were sentenced to five years imprisonment for destruction of evidence and fined Rupees 25,000/- (rupees twenty five thousand only) 
 
The seventh accused, who may be a minor, was acquitted by the court.  As the court announced the quantum of punishment for the six convicts, the prosecution indicated that it might file petition over the acquittal of the priest's son and will challenge his age as he is said to be a juvenile. The girl's family had demanded the death penalty. The prosecution will also plead for death sentence for the convicts. 

Security arrangements were heightened around the court in view of announcement of the verdict. 
 
 
Brief background of the case's legal journey
 
The Supreme Court on May 7, 2018 had transfered the case from Kathua to Pathankot in Punjab amidst fears that the case might not get a fair trial within the state of Jammu and Kashmir due to the powerful political connections of the key accused. The day to day trial commenced in the first week of June last year at the district and sessions court in Pathankot in Punjab, about 100 km from Jammu and 30 km from Kathua, after the Supreme Court ordered that the case be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
The prosecution team, comprising of lawyers J K Chopra, S S Basra, Harminder Singh and Bhupinder Singh said they would examine the judgement and may go in for appeal against the sole acquittal. 

According to the charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 last year, was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district. The child was reportedly raped while heavily sedated to prevent her from screaming or fighting back. Subsequently she was murdered and her body disposed off in the woods, where it was found on January 17. 
 
The girl belonged to a Muslim nomadic tribe and it was alleged that the crime was committed to scare the tribe away from the region. The case had become a bone of contention between PDP and BJP after two ministers of the saffron party, Chowdhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga participated in a rally which was organised by Hindu Ekta Munch in support of the accused. 

Some lawyers of the Jammu Bar Association also held a violent strike preventing the police from submitting the charge sheet in the crime. Taking suo moto cognizance of the obstruction by lawyers and the special status enjoyed by accused in the State, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer  of trial of the case to Pathankot in the neighboring state of Punjab. Later, the apex court had ordered that the accused in the case should be shifted to Gurdaspur jail in Punjab from Kathua. 

Kathua rape case; Judgement pronounced, Justice done

A special Pathankot Court on Monday, June 10, delivered its verdict in the Kathua rape case. The Court found six people guilty and sentenced three people to life imprisonment and three others to prison terms of over five years.

 
The verdict was delivered by District and Sessions Judge, Tejwinder Singh. The six people found guilty include Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the temple where the crime took place and his friend Parvesh Kumar. Four police personnel were also found guilty in the case. They are Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria, Sub inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj and Special Officer Surender Verma. 
 
The main accused in the case Sanji Ram, his friend Parvesh Kumar and a special police officer Deepak Khajuria were sentenced to life imprisonment for offences under Sections 302 (murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code. They have also been separately sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for the offence of gang rape under Section 376D of the Code and fined Rupees 1,00,000/- (rupees one lakh only)

Three police men - Special Police Officer Surender Verma, Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj - who had allegedly taken Rs 4 lakh as bribe from Sanji Ram for sabotaging the case were sentenced to five years imprisonment for destruction of evidence and fined Rupees 25,000/- (rupees twenty five thousand only) 
 
The seventh accused, who may be a minor, was acquitted by the court.  As the court announced the quantum of punishment for the six convicts, the prosecution indicated that it might file petition over the acquittal of the priest's son and will challenge his age as he is said to be a juvenile. The girl's family had demanded the death penalty. The prosecution will also plead for death sentence for the convicts. 

Security arrangements were heightened around the court in view of announcement of the verdict. 
 
 
Brief background of the case's legal journey
 
The Supreme Court on May 7, 2018 had transfered the case from Kathua to Pathankot in Punjab amidst fears that the case might not get a fair trial within the state of Jammu and Kashmir due to the powerful political connections of the key accused. The day to day trial commenced in the first week of June last year at the district and sessions court in Pathankot in Punjab, about 100 km from Jammu and 30 km from Kathua, after the Supreme Court ordered that the case be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
The prosecution team, comprising of lawyers J K Chopra, S S Basra, Harminder Singh and Bhupinder Singh said they would examine the judgement and may go in for appeal against the sole acquittal. 

According to the charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 last year, was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district. The child was reportedly raped while heavily sedated to prevent her from screaming or fighting back. Subsequently she was murdered and her body disposed off in the woods, where it was found on January 17. 
 
The girl belonged to a Muslim nomadic tribe and it was alleged that the crime was committed to scare the tribe away from the region. The case had become a bone of contention between PDP and BJP after two ministers of the saffron party, Chowdhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga participated in a rally which was organised by Hindu Ekta Munch in support of the accused. 

Some lawyers of the Jammu Bar Association also held a violent strike preventing the police from submitting the charge sheet in the crime. Taking suo moto cognizance of the obstruction by lawyers and the special status enjoyed by accused in the State, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer  of trial of the case to Pathankot in the neighboring state of Punjab. Later, the apex court had ordered that the accused in the case should be shifted to Gurdaspur jail in Punjab from Kathua. 

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Bastar violence: Anti-Christian Campaign causes breach in Adivasi unity

Hundreds of Adivasi church-goers across villages in Narayanpur and Bastar, Chhattisgarh have been experiencing boycott, intimidation and violence since December last year, forcing them to leave their homes and live in refugee camps. Reportedly, Adivasi districts across Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh is seeing a rise Hindutva mobilisation against Christians .

Communalism

Bastar violence: Anti-Christian Campaign causes breach in Adivasi unity

Hundreds of Adivasi church-goers across villages in Narayanpur and Bastar, Chhattisgarh have been experiencing boycott, intimidation and violence since December last year, forcing them to leave their homes and live in refugee camps. Reportedly, Adivasi districts across Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh is seeing a rise Hindutva mobilisation against Christians .

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives