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Shakti Mills gang rape: Prosecution seeks enhanced punishment

Posted on Mar 24 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, March 24 : The prosecution in the Shakti Mills gang rape case of a telephone operator Monday sought enhanced punishment for the three convicts, a top law officer said here.

The punishment has been sought under section 376(E) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which stipulates life imprisonment till death or death penalty against the convicts who are serial offenders.

"Three of the accused are guilty in both cases -- the gang rapes of a telephone operator (July 31) and a photo-journalist (Aug 22). They have been awarded life sentence till death, but they have denied the charges. Hence, we will produce additional evidence and two witnesses to prove the charge," Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told media persons.

Accordingly, they would be tried under the section 376(E) of the IPC and the court would give its final verdict accordingly after the hearing Tuesday, he added.

Nikam's comments came after a hearing before Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi in the ongoing hearing for the verdict in the two gang rape cases in the Shakti Mills complex at Mahalaxmi in south central Mumbai.

Last week, four accused were convicted to life imprisonment till death in the July 31 case -- Vijay Jadhav (18), Qasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Qasim Bengali (20), Salim Ansari (27) and M. Ashfaque Shaikh (26).

The prosecution has sought enhanced charges and punishment against three -- Jadhav, Bengali and Ansari, who are also accused in the Aug 22 case -- under the amended Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013.

Two minors, one in each case, are being separately tried by the Mumbai Juvenile Justice Board and the hearing will start next month.

The accused were found guilty under Sections 376 (D) for gang rape and other sections pertaining to wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex, and sections of the Information Technology Act as the attackers had also made a video clip of the incident.

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