More than a month after a lower court in Guwahati pronounced verdict in connection with the infamous July 9, 2012 Guwahati molestation case, the Assam government has moved the Gauhati high court, contesting acquittal of four of the accused including a TV journalist in the case.
The verdict of the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup district, that was pronounced on December 7 facilitated release of four persons, including a TV journalist, while 11 others were awarded sentences in various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including the prime accused Amarjyoti Kalita.
However, four other accused including the journalist, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, Hafizuddin, Diganta Basumatary and Jitumoni Deka were acquitted 'because of lack of evidence'.
As the acquittal of the four accused has sparked protests in the state, the Assam government has decided to appeal against the lower court verdict in the high court.
Earlier, the CJM court convicted prime accused Kalita along with 10 others under various Sections of the IPC.
Besides Kalita, the others convicted include Puspendra Das, Sikandar Basfor, Dhanraj Basfor, Nabajyoti Baruah, Nabajyoti Deka, Deepak Deb, Rubul Ali, Deba Das, Rupkanta Kalita and Ghanasyham Kumar Malik. All of them were sentenced to two years in jail and asked to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 each.
Altogether 16 persons were taken into custody. One of the accused was a minor and his case was handled in the juvenile justice court.
The widely condemned incident occurred around 9 pm on July 9 last year, along the arterial Guwahati-Shillong road in the heat of the state's capital city. It caught the attention of the entire nation once the footage were beamed by TV channels as well as uploaded on YouTube.
The girl was harassed, heckled and molested by a group of people outside a bar on the night while the entire episode was recorded by journalists from a local TV channel including Neog, which was later telecast.