Three of the convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment while the rest were sentenced to five years in prison.
A special court in Pathankot on June 10 convicted six out of the seven accused in the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua.
Advocate Mubeen Farooqui, who represented the victim's family, said that main accused Sanji Ram was convicted along with Anand Dutta, Parvesh Kumar, Deepak Khajuria, Surender Verma and Tilak Raj. One accused was acquitted.
Three of the convicts— Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria— were sentenced to life imprisonment. They have been fined Rs 1 lakh each for murder along with 25 years in jail for gangrape, news agency PTI reported. The rest have been handed five years in prison.
According to the 15-page charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10, 2018, was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir after having been kept sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.
The case had led to outrage across the country in January 2018.
The day-to-day trial commenced in the first week of June 2018 at the district and sessions court in Pathankot, Punjab, after the Supreme Court of India (SC) ordered that the case be shifted out of J&K.
The apex court’s order came after lawyers in Kathua prevented Crime Branch officials from filing a charge sheet in the sensational case, which shocked the nation.
The prosecution team in the case comprised JK Chopra, SS Basra and Harminder Singh.
The Crime Branch arrested village head Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, juvenile nephew and his friend Anand Dutta, and two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma. Head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence, were also arrested.
Charges of rape and murder were framed by the district and sessions judge against seven out of the eight accused. The trial against the juvenile is yet to begin as his petition on determining his age is to be heard by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
The court framed charges under the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), including Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 376-D (gang-rape), according to the prosecution.(With inputs from PTI)(This story was updated to add the quantum of sentence given to the convicts)Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas, nuanced takes on macro, corporate and policy actions, practical insights from market gurus and much more.