January 28, 2009 12:46:08 am
Even as the families of the five accused sentenced to life imprisonment in the sensational Bijal Joshi gangrape case offered to pay Rs 25 lakh to reduce the sentence in an open court on Tuesday,the victims sister,Vaishali,refused to accept it saying she only wanted justice for her deceased sister.
Bijal was gangraped by her boyfriend Sajal Jain and four others and later committed suicide. In June 2008,the Ahmedabad Sessions Court had sentenced the four to life,after which they had appealed in the High Court.
When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday,the family members of the convicts,after consulting their lawyers on the judges permission,said they were ready to pay Rs 25 lakh to the family of the victim if the sentence was reduced to seven years and the accused were granted bail.
Justice Bhagwati Prasad,hearing the case,said the sentence could be reduced to 10 years if the accused were ready to pay a heavy fine,provided Bijals family agreed to the arrangement.
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But Vaishali,who was present in the court,reacted immediately and told the court through her advocate Premal Nanavati and public prosecutor Sunit Shah that the proposal was not acceptable to her and that she only wanted justice. Subsequently,the court fixed Wednesday as the next date of hearing.
Later,a teary-eyed Vaishali told mediapersons that she was shocked at the audacity of the convicts to flex their money muscle to avoid punishment. I was told that I cant get my sister back and that it takes decades to earn Rs 25 lakh. So,I must accept the offer, she said.
First,they gangraped my sister and then tortured her so much that she had to end her life. Now,they are offering money so that they can get away with their crime, Vaishali told Newsline.
She asserted that she will fight the case even in the Supreme Court,if required,and will ensure that the accused receive exemplary punishment.
Bijal had been gangraped by her boyfriend Sajal Jain,a Delhi-based businessman,and his friends in a hotel in Ahmedabad on December 31,2003. After that she was badly beaten up and her entire body was branded with cigarette burns. Bijal,who was 24 years old at the time,could not bear the trauma,and committed suicide on January 7,2004.
On June 20,2008,Ahmedabad Sessions Judge Jyotsna Yagnik sentenced Sajal Jain and his accomplices: Sugam Jaiswal,Chandan Jaiswal,Ashok Jaiswal alias Mandan and Dharmendra Jain,to life imprisonment.
The court,however,acquitted Pannalal Jaiswal,Anand Jaiswal,Harikrishna Jaiswal,Seema Jaiswal,Shreya Jaiswal,Ashok Patel and Dr Yogesh Jadhav,who were accused of destroying evidence.
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