Quantum of punishment may be announced today
Hearing on the quantum of punishment of the accused in connection with the rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in Kamduni will continue for an hour on Saturday at Sessions Court.
There is no confirmation, but Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanchita Sarkar may announce the quantum of punishment on Saturday after the hearing.
It may be mentioned that Sarkar had convicted six people in this connection and two were acquitted. The state government has decided to move to the Calcutta High Court as two were acquitted.
On Friday, the guilty were brought to the Sessions Court at around 2.45 pm and the hearing before the Additional District and Sessions Judge started around 3 pm. The hearing was suspended twice.
A few minutes after the hearing had started, one of the defence lawyers Firoz Edulji has submitted before the court if he can get a copy of Thursday’s verdict. It was, however, not possible to give the copy as the process of the verdict gets completed only when the quantum of punishment is announced. In this case, six of the accused have been convicted but their quantum of punishment is yet to be announced as the defence counsels had pleaded for a hearing before it is announced and the plea was granted. As a result, the court was then suspended for around 15 minutes.
At around 3.40 pm, the court stated that it was not possible to disclose the copy of judgement. Apart from senior defence counsels, the state counsels were present inside the court room. There was strict instruction that no one should even take photograph of the copy of judgement. Even junior lawyers came out of the court room. The senior counsels had gone through the 207 pages judgement and the subsequent hearing was also a closed door one. The hearing continued till around 5 pm.
Sarkar said that there will be hearing for around an hour on Saturday. The hearing is scheduled to start at around 11 am.
Though there is no confirmation, but the quantum of punishment may be announced on Saturday.
On the other hand, the villagers from Kamduni once again gathered at Sessions Court premises. The victim’s family members too were present.
It may be mentioned that accused Ansar Ali, Saiful Ali and Amin Ali were held guilty under Section 376 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), gangrape in furtherance of a common intention (376D), murder (302 IPC), criminal conspiracy (120 B) and tampering of evidence (201). Saiful has also been held guilty on charges of abetment (109) and wrongfully confining a person (342).
The three others — Bholanath Naskar, Aminur Islam and Imanul Islam — were held guilty on charges of gangrape in furtherance of common intention, criminal conspiracy and tampering of evidence. While Rafiqul Islam Gazi and Noor Ali were acquitted as no evidence of their involvement in the case was found.
The accused, who were convicted on Friday, shouted from inside prison van and claimed that they were equally involved in the crime.
Meanwhile, the security of Additional District and Sessions Judge has been beefed up. A sergeant and four policemen may be deployed for her security till January 30.