The main convicts in the Kathua rape case appealed against his conviction in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which has admitted the petition. Among the accused, Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar, and Deepak Khajuria had approached the High Court against their life terms while Anand Dutta and Surinder Kumar had appealed against their five-year jail term.
“Admitted. Recovery of fine shall remain suspended during the pendency of the appeal,” said a division bench comprising Justices Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh Sindhu in an order on Friday, reported The Indian Express.
The High Court has listed July 18 for the hearing of all the appeals by the six convicts in the case.
On June 10, three of the six men convicted in the Kathua rape and murder case were sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court. The other three – special police officer Surinder Kumar, head constable Tilak Raj, and sub-inspector Anand Dutta – were given a five-year jail term for destroying evidence. The court had acquitted Vishal Jangotra, son of Ram, giving him the “benefit of doubt”.
Ram has contended that there is no “admissible evidence” to fulfill the chain of circumstances to establish the motive. The J&K Police Crime Branch had concluded that the 8-year-old girl belonging to Bakerwal community in Kathua’s Rasana village was murdered and raped in January 2018 as part of a conspiracy to “dislodge” the nomadic community from the village.
However, the father of the victim said his family had expected the court to award death penalty to all the six. The eight-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district in January 2018. She belonged to the nomadic Muslim Bakkarwal community.
The prosecution led by lawyer Mubeen Farooqui is hoping to file an appeal against the verdict too next week. The father will appeal against the acquittal of Vishal Jangotra and will demand for more stringent punishment against the accused.
The youth wing of Indian Union Muslim League has been helping the family of the Kathua victim with the case. The youth wing of IUML has been helping the families torn asunder by mob lynching.
They gave a vehicle to the families of Junaid, who was lynched in a moving train near Faridabad, and Alimuddin Ansari, who was lynched in Jharkhand.
They had given ₹2 lakh as monetary help to Umar Khan, who was killed by ‘gau goondas’ near Govindgarh in Alwar district in November 2017.
After the recent lynching of Tabrez Ansari, IUML had offered legal support to the family and had also given ₹50,000 to the wife of Ansari.