The Court of Judicial Commissioner of Ranchi civil court Navneet Kumar, on 26 February has convicted all 11 accused in the gang-rape of a law student on 26 November 2019 under the limits of Kanke police station. The investigation and trial of the case was completed in three months, with the prosecution producing 21 witnesses during the trial, while the defense producing none.
As per reports, nine youths kidnapped the 25-year-old woman from a bus stop at Sangrampur in Kanke, on the evening of November 26, where she was sitting along with her friend. They beat up the woman’s friend and dragged the girl to a brick kiln. The nine youths then called up three of their other friends and then took turns to rape her.
Of the 12 youths who were arrested, one is a minor and is presently facing trial before the Juvenile Justice Board. Convicting the remaining 11 which include Kuldeep Oraon, Sunil Oraon, Sandeep Tirkey, Ajay Munda, Rajan Oraon, Naveen Oraon, Basant Kacchap, Ravi Oraon, Rohit Oraon, Sunil Munda and Rishi Oraon, the judge termed the case as the “rarest of rare.”
The court held them guilty under Sections 376D (gang rape), 366 (kidnapping a woman), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 379 (theft) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the Indian Penal Code. They were lodged at the Birsa Munda Central Prison and presented before the court through videoconferencing on 26 February.
“The gang-rape of the law student had sparked massive outrage here. Lawyers of Ranchi civil court had, in fact, refused to fight the case on behalf of the accused. They were provided a defense lawyer though the District Legal Services Authority. The legal fraternity of Jharkhand expects the court to give the convicts harsh punishment that will act as a deterrent for others,” asserted general secretary of the Ranchi District Bar Association, Sanjay Bidrohi during the hearing.
The next hearing to pronounce the sentence has been fixed for 2 March.