The Telegraph
Friday , July 4 , 2014
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Sentence on rapist guard deferred

Mumbai, July 3: A Mumbai sessions court today deferred sentencing the security guard convicted of the murder and molestation of Pallavi Purkayastha till July 7 after the prosecution called for the death penalty and the defence pleaded for leniency.

Sajjad Ahmed Abdul Aziz Mughal alias Sajjad Pathan, a watchman at the Himalayan Heights high-rise in suburban Wadala, was earlier this week convicted of murdering the 25-year-old lawyer after she resisted his sexual advances.

The prosecution had said the security guard switched off power to the 16th-floor flat of Pallavi, who studied at Calcutta’s La Martiniere for Girls, so that he could enter with the electrician and steal the apartment keys for the late-night sexual attack in August 2012.

Sessions judge Vrushali Joshi reserved the sentence after special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam argued that the case fell in the “rarest of the rare” category and demanded the death penalty. Defence lawyer Abdul Wahan Khan urged the court to show leniency and pleaded for a life sentence.

“The accused was working as a security guard of a prominent housing society and it was his professional responsibility to protect the residents of the Himalayan Heights. But the protector turned predator, betraying the trust of the victim,” Nikam said.

Defence lawyer Khan said Mughal had worked honestly for two years before the incident and there were no complaints against him.

He cited several Supreme Court judgments to argue that because of his age, 22, Mughal should be handed life sentence.