Mumbai, Mar 24 (PTI): A court here framed fresh charges on Monday against three convicts in the 2013 photojournalist gang-rape case who were also convicted in another gang-rape earlier.
The additional charges against Kasim Bengali (21), Vijay Jadhav (19) and Mohammed Salim Ansari (28) were framed under section 376e of the Indian Penal Code for repeated offence after the court accepted the prosecution’s application.
Last Friday, Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi had sentenced the three and another person to life terms for gang-raping a telephone operator in the Shakti Mills compound here on August 22 last year.
However, the three common convicts refused to sign the copy of the charges, stating that they are yet to go through the judgment in the telephone operator case.
Earlier, the court had rejected the defence plea to stay the trial in the case, which was adjourned till Monday to decide on the prosecution's plea and then proceed on the quantum of punishment.
The defence sought the stay because it wanted to move the Bombay High Court to challenge the application filed by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam on Friday seeking framing of additional charges, after the sentencing in the teleoperator case.
Nikam had told PTI that the maximum penalty under section 376(e) of IPC is capital punishment.
On Monday, refusing to grant any stay, the court said that the accused could challenge the order even when the trial is on.
On March 21, the court awarded life imprisonment to Jadhav, Bengali, Ansari and Mohammad Ashfaque Shaikh in the telephone operator gang-rape case, observing that showing mercy to them would be a “mockery of justice” and will send out a wrong signal to the society.
The court had also observed that offence of rape was ”serious and brutal” and it violates the victim and the society at large.
A day before, the court convicted five men for gang-rape (of two women), criminal conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex, criminal intimidation, wrongful restraint, assault and destruction of evidence under IPC and other sections.