Three men found guilty of gang-raping two women in the abandoned Shakti Mills in Mumbai last year were sentenced to death by a court on Friday, bringing into force for the first time the new law for repeat rape offenders.
Handing out the capital punishment under Section 376 (E) of the Indian Penal code after prosecution sought death for the repeated offenders -- Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali and Salim Ansari -- Principle Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi held that there was no scope of reformation of the trio.
Before pronouncing the verdict, the court took into consideration the arguments of Special Public Prosecuter Ujwal Nikam who forcefully contended that the circumstances under which the crime has been committed demands maximum punishment to the accused.
On Thursday, the court held the three convicts guilty under the amended IPC section for the repeat offence of rape, which made them liable for the maximum sentence of death.
The amended section which has been applied for the first time in the country, was introduced after the brutal gang rape of a paramedic at Delhi in 2012.
The two gang rapes in Mumbai involving two women -- a telephone operator and a photojournalist -- took place within a few weeks at the Shakti Mills compound in Central Mumbai last year, shocking the metropolis.
The 18-year-old telephone operator was gang-raped in the deserted premises in July last year while the 22-year-old photojournalist was brutalised on August 22, 2013.
The scribe was raped by Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehman and a minor boy when she had gone to the desolate mill compound with a male colleague on an assignment.
While the three common convicts were awarded death penalty, Siraj was sentenced to life term in the photojournalist case.
The Bombay high court had last week refused to interfere with the sessions court's decision to frame fresh charges for repeat offence of rape under the amended section.
Image: The three rapists being produced in a court in Mumbai on Friday
Photograph: Sahil Salve/Rediff.com