Updated: April 30, 2015 6:45:19 am
During Wednesday’s hearing in the case of alleged rape of a model by a police officer, a defence lawyer stunned all present in the open court when he argued that since the accused could complete only half the “rape offence”, he was liable for only “50 per cent of the punishment”.
The Esplanade court was hearing the prosecution’s plea to extend the police remand of the eight arrested accused in the case, which include three policemen – Sunil Khatpe (34) and Suresh Suryavanshi (36), constable Yogesh Konde (36).
In the FIR lodged on April 23, the victim had accused Khapte of raping her on April 3 and others of helping him in the crime.
Advocate Subhash Hulyalkar, appearing for one of the accused, Ayesha Malviya, a police informant alleged to have colluded in the crime, told the court that according to the victim’s statement in the FIR, Khatpe had only initiated the act, but there was no intercourse. “So, the offence was not completed,” he argued while citing section 376 of the IPC.
Hulyalkar also contended that Malviya had not committed the crime, and so the charge of rape against her under the new rape law did not hold.
Magistrate Ganesh Deshmukh quickly asked the lawyer to “read the FIR completely before arguing” and said the probe had already established the collusion of all the accused.
Hulyalkar, however, started reading out the victim’s statement in Marathi aloud. “While he was attempting to assault her, someone knocked on the door, and then he could not do anything,” he read, while arguing that the case did not attract Section 376 of the IPC at all.
In the end, the court extended the police custody of all the eight accused.
Meanwhile, police have seized a dairy from Hotel Holiday Inn, which allegedly shows the crime was pre-meditated.
“The accused made an entry stating that they planed to lay a trap and arrest a pimp and a sex worker. The hotel refused to oblige them and asked them to leave,” said Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria. “They were seen in the vicinity of the hotel for over two hours. This only goes to show the ‘raid’ was well-planned and thought over,” he added.
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