Mumbai, Nov 25: In a significant move, the Bombay High Court on Thursday set aside the sentence of death penalty of three accused and sent them to life imprisonment in connection with the 2013 Shakti Mills gang-rape case. The verdict was in connection with the gang-rape of a photo-journalist inside Mumbai's defunct Shakti Mills compound, in 2013.
A Bench of Justices SS Jadhav and PK Chavan upheld the conviction by the Sessions Court but reduced the sentence to rigorous imprisonment for life. The Court also ordered that all three convicts will not be entitled to any parole or furlough during their natural lifetime.
The bench said, "Death puts an end to the concept of repentance… It cannot be said the accused deserved only death penalty. They deserved religious imprisonment for life to repent for the offence committed by them. Not to assimilate in society. There is no scope of reformation".
The High Court was hearing a plea filed by convicts Vijay Mohan Jadhav, Mohammed Kasim Bengali, Mohammed Salim Ansari. In August 2013, a group of seven people including two minors were arrested in connection with the gang-rape of a photojournalist inside the Shakti Mills compound in Mumbai.
In 2014, the sessions court convicted all three accused-- Jadhav, Bengali and Ansari-- and sentenced them to the death penalty. The fourth convict, Siraj Khan, was sentenced to life imprisonment and an accused turned approver in this case. The two minors were sent to a correctional facility in 2014 for three years.