Shakti Mills gang rape case adjourned till Wednesday

Mumbai : A Mumbai court Tuesday adjourned hearing in the photojournalist gang rape case till Wednesday after the defence lawyer decided to move Bombay High Court, challenging the enhanced charges against three common convicts for repeat offences.

On Monday, the prosecution had framed enhanced charges under the Indian Penal Code’s section 376(E), which attracts punishment of life imprisonment till death or the death penalty.

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Defence lawyer P. Falsingkar informed Principal Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi that he would be filing an application in the high court challenging the new charges.

The three accused, who were found guilty in the gang rape of a telephone operator July 31, were awarded life sentence till death, but they have denied the charges.

Vijay Jadhav (20), Qasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Qasim Bengali (20) and Salim Ansari (27) were also found guilty in the gang rape of a woman photojournalist in the Shakti Mills premises Aug 22.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that in view of their repeat offences in the two cases, they could be tried under the enhanced charges.

Nikam also examined the investigation officer in the telephone operator case and a police constable to prove the charges of repeat offence Tuesday.