Kopardi rape case: 3 accused get death sentence

  • Kopardi rape case: 3 accused get death sentence

Kopardi rape case: 3 accused get death sentence

After 16 months of the infamous Kopardi rape case, which brought to the forefront the underlying caste tensions in the state, a special court in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district on Wednesday (November 29) pronounced the death sentences for the three accused.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had declared that the case would be tried in a fast-track court and the state would be represented by special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. The court found the accused guilty of conspiring, raping and murdering the victim.

"We shall challenge not only the verdict but the entire proceedings before the High Court, the lapses and other issues on which we have already given our written submission to the Sessions Court", the lawyers for Bhawal, Balasaheb Khopade and Vijayalaxmi Khopade, said.

Mumbai: Three convicts will hang for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in Maharashtra's Kopardi village last year. The convicted had also inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling her, police had said.

The case sparked off widespread condemnation and protests across the state with Maratha groups demanding capital punishment for the accused. On October 7 a year ago, the Ahmednagar Police filed the charge sheet running into over 350 pages before the court in which the three men were charged under IPC sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Nikam said he was satisfied with the court's verdict. "When they failed in their attempts to rape her, they hatched a plan for later, which amounts to conspiracy", he said. The prosecution closed the case from its side by presenting 31 witnesses before the court, he said. Protestors across the state demanding punishment for all three convicts.

The duo was also handed out life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000 each, under Section 120, read with sections 376 (2)(i)(m) and 109 of the IPC and three years' RI under sections 109 and 354 A (1) of the IPC.

The judge has allowed the convicts to appeal before the Bombay High Court. These sentences are to run concurrently with the substantive sentence.