Kathua Rape-Murder Case: Mastermind Moves Court For Suspension Of Life Term

SRINAGAR: The life term convict in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomad girl in Kathua in 2018 has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking suspension of his sentence. The High Court posted the matter for hearing on February 24.

According to a report published in a national newspaper, Sanji Ram has moved the application under section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Under this provision, an accused can approach the court for suspension of his sentence pending an appeal.

The application came up for hearing on Thursday before a division bench of Justices Tejinder Singh Dhindsa and Lalit Batra through video conferencing.

Advocate Sonpreet Singh Brar, appearing for Sanji Ram, sought the suspension of the life term awarded to his client by a sessions court of Pathankot in June 2019.

“There are various lacune in the investigation conducted by the prosecution agency as well as in the statements recorded during trial court,” the petitioner has claimed, according to the report.

Appearing for Jammu and Kashmir, Senior Advocate RS Cheema and advocates Arshdeep Singh Brar and Satish Kumar requested for adjournment, which the court granted.

Describing the incident as a “devilish and monstrous crime”, the Pathankot court had awarded life term to Sanji Ram, the mastermind and caretaker of the ‘devasthanam’ (temple) where the crime took place, Deepak Khajuria, a Special Police Officer, and Parvesh Kumar, a civilian. Three other policemen were sentenced to five-year imprisonment for cover-up and destruction of evidence while Sanji Ram’s son Vishal was acquitted.

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