It also welcomed the professional investigation conducted by Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and speedy delivery of justice by the Special Court in the heinous murder and rape case of eight year old child. Convicts Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria were booked under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 376D (gangrape) and 120 (B) criminal conspiracy of the Ranbir Penal Code.
The court acquitted one of the accused person in the case.
Sanji Ram, the mastermind and caretaker of the "devasthanam" (temple) where the crime took place in January past year, Deepak Khajuria, a Special Police Officer, and Parvesh Kumar - the three main accused - were spared death penalty.
The child's mother has demanded capital punishment for two of those convicted - retired government officer Sanji Ram and police officer Deepak Khajuria - claiming that they were the "masterminds" behind the crime. "We're planning for that (challenging the verdict)".
Concerns over the impartiality of the state's judicial system led to a Supreme Court ruling in May of past year ordering the trial of the accused to be moved to the neighboring state of Punjab.
The prosecution had sought the death penalty for the three men - including a Hindu priest - who received life sentences.
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The prosecution was represented by Special Public Prosecutor SS Bhasra and Public Prosecutor JC Chopra, among others. Investigators said the accused juvenile had abducted the girl under the pretext of helping her find her horses.
The verdict was passed by District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh, who had reserved judgment on June 3.
The officer, with a smile, also added that this case made him revisit all that had been taught to him during training at the police academy.
Two others charged in the case were policemen accused of taking bribes to stifle the case. Three days later, one of the accused - reportedly a juvenile - was arrested by police, the charge sheet said. "The Jammu and Kashmir government must go for appeal in higher court", she said. The trial in his case has not begun as there is a dispute regarding his actual age.
She said the family could not afford to travel to Pathankot to hear the verdict because selling livestock was their only source of income.
The abduction, rape and killing of the child was part of a plan to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, the 15-page charge sheet said.