Mumbai, April 3 IANS | 9 months ago

A Mumbai court Thursday held three men, convicted earlier for gang rape of a call centre employee in the Shakti Mills complex here, also guilty of the rape a photojournalist later in the same complex.

Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi Thursday convicted the trio - Vijay Jadhav (18), Qasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Qasim Bengali (20) and Salim Ansari (27) - for gang rape in the two cases committed July 31 and Aug 22, 2013, under section 376 (E) of the Indian Penal Code.

The quantum of punishment is likely to be pronounced here Friday. The rape charge under the amended section 376 (E) of the IPC could attract a death penalty for the convicts.

The three convicts have already been sentenced to life imprisonment till death in the July 31 gang rape of an 18-year-old call centre employee. They later committed a repeat offence targeting a photojournalist Aug 22, 2013, in the same abandoned Shakti Mills complex.

The three convicts moved the Bombay High Court challenging the enhanced section 376 (E) of the IPC slapped on them, but the court declined to interfere with the sessions court's decision in the matter.

Last month, four accused - Jadhav, Bengali, Ansari and their accomplice M. Ashfaque Shaikh (26) - were convicted for the July 31 gang rape of a call centre employee and sentenced them to life imprisonment till death.

Later, the prosecution sought enhanced charges and punishment against three - Jadhav, Bengali and Ansari - who were also accused in the Aug 22 gang rape of a photojournalist - under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, for committing the repeat offence.

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

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

(Posted on 03-04-2014)

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