The courage of a former National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, girl student has been lauded by the Gujarat High Court for helping the police catch three persons in a rape case in 2009, and for boldly testifying against the perpetrators before the court.
Recently, it also helped the court double the sentence on one of the accused. The girl had lodged an FIR against the accused since the victim was mentally challenged. The enhancement verdict came on August 28.
While enhancing the imprisonment of one of the two accused from five years to 10 years, the division bench of Justices Anant S Dave and Sonia Gokani mentioned, “We also place on record the appreciation to the valour shown by the complainant Anjali, a NID student, at midnight and at whose instance only the crime could be detected and defended so successfully. Such vigilance and commitment towards the duty as a citizen ushers a sense of hope that the country can aspire to be safe in the hands of the future generation.” The court’s appreciation came while pronouncing the judgment on a petition filed by the state government in 2011 for enhancing the sentence of the accused.
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Anjali, who now works with the country’s premier design institute, was a student of four years diploma in the Film and Aviation course. On March 26, 2009, while returning to her rented apartment at midnight from the NID studio, she saw some youngsters near the main gate of the campus dragging a woman. When Anjali tried to intervene, she was rebuked. At around 2 am, she heard someone crying in agony. She saw from her balcony that two persons were raping the woman. The judges stated, “She (Anjali) mustered courage and called the police instantly that led to the arrest of the respondents convicts right from the place of incident.”
When contacted, Anjali said, “I don’t want to discuss the case now. I can speak about the case for five days, but I do have reservation to talk about it in public domain.” She also denied if she was ever threatened after she took up the case. The court has also directed the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority is to provide compensation to the victim within a period of 60 days. The amount should not be less than Rs 1 lakh, the court said.