A city court on Thursday held three men guilty of gangraping a 40-year-old mother of two teenaged daughters inside a moving car in the posh Park Street area in Kolkata more than three years ago.
In the verdict in the Park Street gangrape case where the woman later waived her right to anonymity, the accused were found guilty under sections 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 120B (criminal conspiracy) 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of IPC, Chief Public Prosecutor Tamal Mukherjee said.
The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Friday, Additional Sessions Judge Chiranjib Bhattacharya of City Sessions Court said while passing the order in-camera. The charges carry a a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The court pronounced Ruman Khan, Naser Khan and Sumit Bajaj guilty of gangrape, Mukherjee said. The police is, however, yet to apprehend the main accused Kader Khan and another accused named Ali.
The woman, who had appeared in public several times and said she had no inhibition in her name being published to encourage other rape survivors to speak out, died of encephalitis in March this year.
The victim, when she was 40-year-old, had been picked up in a car in front of a night club at Park Street in the heart of the city on February 5, 2012, and gangraped inside the moving car before she was thrown off near a road crossing, about two km away from where she was pulled into the vehicle.
The victim's family expressed happiness over the verdict.
"Her soul can now rest in peace. Justice has been delivered and we are really very happy. It has been tough on her and tough on the family," her sister told reporters outside the court.
Her father fought tears as he spoke of the delight his daughter would have felt had she been around to hear the verdict.
"We have gone through a lot. My daughter is no more, but justice has been delivered," he said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had courted controversy after she said that the hue and cry over the incident was an attempt to malign her government and that it was fabricated.
Though the law prohibits the disclosure of the identity of a rape victim, the Park gangrape victim came out in the open a year after the crime.