Delhi High Court on Wednesday has issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking its reply on the Brajesh Kumar’s plea challenging the trial court order for his conviction and jail term in Bihar Shelter Home case. The court will hear the matter on August 25.
Delhi HC bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar has sought the probe agency’s reply on the appeal filed by convict Brajesh Kumar to set aside the trial court order of the 19 accused’s conviction on January 20 and life sentence on February 11.
A separate appeal has been filed by Thakur through advocate Pramod Kumar Dubey for the suspension of fine imposed on him worth Rs 32.20 lakh.
A special trial court (POCSO) had sentenced Brajesh Thakur to “rigorous imprisonment till the remainder of his life” and imposed a hefty fine of Rs 32.20 lakh on him, saying he was the “kingpin” of a “meticulously planned” conspiracy and “displayed extreme perversity”.
Brajesh Kumar in his appeal accuses that the trial court had conducted the hearing in a “hurried manner” and hence violated his right to a free and fair trial as guaranteed under the Constitution.
The appeal further stated, “In the present case neither the Bihar police nor the CBI has conducted the potency test of the accused Brijesh Thakur and despite examining his wife did not place her statement under Section 161 of the Cr.PC. on record and thereby the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the first foremost and most important fact which is a pre-requisite in a rape case i.e. the fact that an accused who is charged of rape is, in fact, capable of committing rape.”
Appeal filed through Advocates Nishaank Mattoo, Anurag Andley and Shreed Krsna claimed that he conviction judgment and sentencing order were passed by the trial court in a prejudiced and mechanical manner having been swayed by the gruesomeness of the allegations leveled against Thakur and the public perception.”
The appeal also stated that the trial court’s judgment was illegal, incorrect, perverse, and contrary to the evidence on record and hence liable to be set aside.
Brajesh Thakur was convicted of several offences including aggravated penetrative sexual assault under section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and offences of rape and gang rape under the Indian Penal code (IPC).
In addition to the conviction of Brajesh Thakur, Dilip Verma, then Chairman of Child Welfare Committee, Child protection officer of District Child Protection Unit Ravi Roshan, member of Child Welfare Committee Vikas Kumar; Guddu Vijay, Kumar Tiwari, Guddu Patel, Kishan Kumar, and Ramanuj Thakur were also convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Three women including Minu Devi, Kiran Kumari, and Shaista Praveen were also the life convict for the abetment to rape. Rama Shankar, Ashwani, Manju Devi, Chanda Devi, Neha Kumari, and Hema Masih were sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment while Indu Kumari was awarded three years of imprisonment. Along with the sentences, trial court has also imposed heavy fines on all the convicts.
On February 7, 2019, the Supreme Court had issued directions to transfer the matter from a local court in Bihar to the Delhi’s Saket district court complex which is a POCSO court.
Brajesh Thakur was the owner of the NGO called Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti and managed the place. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment till his last breath for sexually assaulting over 40 girls in a shelter home in Muzzafarpur district, Bihar.