Friday, December 21, 2018

Bombay high court upholds death for man who raped, killed techie

The Bombay high court. on Thursday confirmed the death sentence given to Chandrabhan Sanap (33) for the brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old software engineer in January 2014. 
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre upheld his conviction saying they had noticed “no remorse on his part”. Ruling out the possibility of reforming him, the bench said there was “no ground to absolve Sanap of the most gruesome and cruel act he has indulged in. Such a person would surely remain a menace to society”.

The victim, who worked for one of India’s leading tech companies, was offered a lift by Sanap to her hostel in  Andheri(West) when she arrived at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus from Machalipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on January 5, 2014. Sanap raped and killed her and then set her body afire in a deserted area off Eastern Express Highway near Kanjurmarg. In December 2015, a sessions court sentenced him to the gallows.
In a 167-page judgment, Justice Dangre, who penned the verdict, recalled the words of US secretary of state Madeline Albright that voices of women could not be silenced any more. Referring to Nirbhaya, Shakti Mills and other cases, the bench said that womenfolk of the country were looking towards the executive, legislature and judiciary to restore their faith in the system.
“Crimes against women, which are on the rise, need to be tackled on all fronts in a manner which should respond to the society’s cry for justice against such criminals. She was done to death by the accused for no fault of her own, except for a reason that she is a woman and she fell prey to the sinister design of the accused to fulfil his lust. The said attitude of the accused, according to us, deserves a death sentence.”
The bench said a civilization is measured in the way it treats women. “The women in this country may not demand they be worshipped in the modern day scenario but they would surely expect to breathe freely and feel safe and comfortable in and outside their houses. The women of this country, after a long journey, are on the path of empowerment and it is the bounden duty of the state to empower them by assuring their safety and security.” The court noted the “abhorrent, grotesque and pervert manner” in which she was killed.
Her partly burnt body was found more than 10 days later, on January 16, 2014. It would take Mumbai crime branch another two months to crack the case and arrest Sanap on March 2, 2014. The first breakthrough was CCTV images at the station that showed the victim leave with a man. Painstaking probe led cops to Sanap. Prosecution witnesses included his neighbours, people who had seen him at the platform and on the highway, and even an astrologer and a priest who helped him do pooja for committing a sin against a woman.

The defence questioned the veracity of the CCTV which was dismissed by the bench that had watched the videos. “The screenshots of the clipping clearly reveal that it is the accused who is present before us,” the high court concluded.

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