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Bombay HC upholds death penalty clause for repeat offenders in rape cases

A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Revati Mohite Dere dismissed petitions filed by three convicts in the Shakti Mill gangrape case challenging Constitutional validity of the legal provisions under which they were sentenced to death in 2014.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 3, 2019 12:05:28 pm

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The Bombay High Court Monday upheld the constitutional validity of section 376E of the Indian Penal Code which states that a repeat rape offender should be imprisoned for the rest of his life or sentenced to death.

A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Revati Mohite Dere dismissed petitions filed by three convicts in the Shakti Mill gangrape case challenging the Constitutional validity of the legal provisions under which they were sentenced to death in 2014. The stringent provision was added by an amendment made by Parliament in 2013, following the Nirbhaya gangrape incident.

“We are of the opinion that section 376 (e) of the IPC is not ultra vires to the Constitution and hence need not be quashed in the present case,” the court said.

What is | Section 376E of the Indian Penal Code

The law was challenged by the three convicts — Vijay Jadhav, Mohammed Kasim Bengali and Mohammed Salim Ansari — all sentenced to death by a sessions court in 2014 for the gangrape of a city-based photojournalist on August 22, 2013. The same year, the three were also convicted for raping a call centre employee. Both instances of gangrape had taken place in 2013 in the Shakti Mills compound.

The trials in both the cases were held simultaneously and the conviction was handed out on the same day. However, the trial court proceeded to pronounce the punishment in the call centre employee case and subsequently allowed a prosecution plea to charge the convicts under Section 376E.

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