Mumbai: A sessions court has sentenced a man, Rakesh Rod, 40, to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment in four separate offences where he had pelted stones at three Central Railway commuters and flung an iron rod at one in 2019, mostly between Kurla and Vidyavihar railway stations, resulting in the victims suffering head and stomach injuries.
The court observed that the accused was well aware that pelting stones at trains would endanger the life of commuters. It called the offence a ‘hazard to society’ while denying him leniency. It convicted him under Indian Penal Code, section 307 (attempt to murder) and under the Railways Act, section 152 (maliciously hurting or attempting to hurt persons travelling by railway). The latter is punishable with life or 10 years’ imprisonment.
Additional Sessions Judge Abhay A Joglekar said in one of the judgments that the gravity of crime should balance the punishment prescribed for such offences. The court said, it was pertinent to note that the offence committed by the accused had destroyed the casual and regular or normal life of the informant and that such injury had impacted his day-to-day activities.
One victim suffered memory loss after the incident
Further, the court noted that one of the victims had mentioned the spot where the incident had occurred and this was corroborated by other two victims who had sustained such injuries too, on the same day and in the same span of time. One of the victims, a student, had said in his testimony during trial that after undergoing this trauma, he had developed a disability in the form of memory loss after the incident.
The stone pelting incidents happened on the same day - July 16, 2017. Victims Rajesh Pawar and Ajay Kahar were both hit by a stone, on their heads and above the eye, when the train was between Kurla and Vidyavihar stations. Both had to receive stitches for their wounds. They were standing on the footboard to alight at Ghatkopar. Reeling after being hit, both would have fallen off the train had they not been pulled back to safety by their fellow passengers. Chandan Shive was another victim of stone pelting.
Tausif Khan was the passenger who was hit by an iron rod, while he was on a train from CSMT to Panvel. The train had crossed Kurla and was passing Gammon Bridge. Khan saw a man throw a small iron rod at the train, which hit him in the stomach.
One of the defences taken by the accused was that he had a mental disorder. He was made to undergo a psychological test, but the result did not support his claim.
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