Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times, Mumbai |
Updated: Oct 31, 2014 10:15 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) is yet to set a date for hearing the petition for confirming the death sentence of three Shakti Mill offenders, who were convicted for two gang-rapes. The matter has been adjourned to December 5. The three– Vijay Jadhav, Mohammad Qasim Shaikh, and Mohammad Salim Ansari – were convicted and sentenced in both gang-rape cases; that of a telephone operator in July 2013 and of a photojournalist in August of the same year.
The trio was sentenced to death, following the new section 376E of the Indian Penal Code, which allows for capital punishment to repeat rape offenders. Two of them had then moved the high court against the constitutional validity of this provision. The court sought to know the status of these petitions, which are pending before a different bench, on Friday.
Chief public prosecutor S Shinde asked for the petitions to be clubbed along with the confirmation cases. However, the division bench of justice VK Tahilramani and justice AK Menon said it “was not inclined” to do that. “What is in that petition?” the court further queried. The prosecutor informed the bench those petitions concerned whether the second conviction of the three men could be considered a subsequent one, and thus attract the death penalty.
“Let those writ petitions be decided, then we will see,” said the court. The petitions had been scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, but did not come up. They have now been listed in 2015. As a matter of procedure, a death sentence awarded by a trial court has to be confirmed by the high court. “Jail authorities do not intend to reform them [the accused], but want to put forth that they are culprits and cannot be reformed so that the facilities granted to them are stopped,” the application said, pleading that the authorities be directed by the court not to threaten or assault the five men, and to have a male officer search them instead of the woman officer.
source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai/shakti-mill-gangrape-hc-to-hear-death-penalty-petition-on-dec-5/article1-1281154.aspx [last accessed 06.02.2015]