Mumbai: Death penalty in Sakinaka rape-murder, case ‘rarest or rare’ says court

The convict, who raped and murdered a woman by inserting a sharp weapon into her private part, was given the ultimate penalty by the court.

Bhavna UchilUpdated: Friday, June 03, 2022, 12:11 AM IST
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Mohan Chauhan |

A sessions court in Dindoshi on Thursday sentenced 45-year-old Mohan Chauhan to death for the gruesome rape and murder of a 32-year-old woman in September last year, calling the case one of ‘rarest of rare’ category.

The shocking case in which injuries suffered by the victim were akin to the Nirbhaya gang rape case, had led to the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray announcing a fast-track trial in the case. Chauhan, hailing from Jaunpur, UP, a daily wager, was sentenced to death on two counts - under IPC Sec 302 (murder) and Sec 376(A) (person committing rape with injuries that lead to death). Additional Sessions Judge HC Shende said in the order that he be hanged by the neck till his death. The court also imposed a total fine of Rs. 32,000 on Chauhan.

In a detailed order, Judge Shende said that in the instant case only maximum punishment will send a message to society. “To show leniency or mercy in the case of such heinous crime and to the accused who have shown no repentance or remorse after exhibiting an extremely depraved mentality would be a travesty of justice. Hence, though this court is fully aware of the irrevocable nature of the death penalty, this court has to award that sentence,” the order read.

Chauhan’s advocate Kalpana Waskar had sought leniency for him based on his socio-economic background. The court held these “insignificant” in light of the aggravating circumstances. Prosecutor Mahesh Mule assisted by advocates Nidhi Narvekar and Siddharth Jakushte had argued that the case is of the ‘rarest of rare’ category. Judge Shende concurred that the case, without any doubt, falls in the ‘rarest of rare' category. In another part of the order, Judge Shende said, The only punishment i.e. death sentence would give a true message to the society and to the person having the same mindset. “This incident is horrible, diabolic, inhuman, brutal, and brings dreadful shivers up to the spine when thinking about it. The accused by assaulting the victim in such a disturbing and horrocious way left her on her own by pulling her intestine out of her body and her chances of living were minimal. This is the rarest of rare case,” the judgment read stated, adding that the injuries caused to the victim were so brutal, fatal, serious and deadly that her survival was next to impossible.

The order also made a reference to Chauhan’s conduct before the court. “The conduct of the accused was noted by this Court during the course of trial and even during the final arguments and during a hearing on the quantum of sentence. It appears that he does not have respect towards law and particularly for women,” it said.

Earlier, the court had convicted him of all charges on Monday.

Chauhan was in the witness box on Wednesday for the court to hear him during the proceedings for deciding the quantum of sentence.

Several times during the prosecution’s arguments, he interrupted the proceedings, making allegations that the police had fabricated the case and mocking the prosecutor.

Judge HC Shende reprimanded him for his behaviour and asked him to maintain decorum in court.

Seeking capital punishment for Chauhan, prosecutor Mahesh Mule on Wednesday argued that as per a catena of judgments, the punishment should be adequate for the offence. India has not abolished the death penalty even when 108 nations have as the crimes and their brutality has grown, he argued. The photographs produced before the court show the gravity and perversity of the crime, he added.

Chauhan’s advocate Kalpana Waskar sought leniency for him and argued that the case cannot be compared to the Nirbhaya gangrape case as it is not a case of gangrape and denied that it falls in the category of ‘rarest of rare’ to warrant the death penalty. A harsh punishment will not give a chance to reform, she said, seeking that he be given a chance.

The victim had succumbed to grievous injuries a day after the fatal assault in which a sharp weapon was inserted in her private part.

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