The family of the Park Street rape victim on Saturday asserted they will appeal to the higher courts against the quantum of sentence slapped on the three accused, as they are unhappy with the role of the public prosecutor who “almost defended the defendants”.
“Initially when I heard the quantum of sentence, I thought it was ok. But when I learnt that the PP (public prosecutor) has almost defended the defendants… that’s what made me realise that something has taken a wrong turn somewhere,” the father of the late victim told a local television channel in Kolkata.
“They are going to get some advantage from the PP’s request that they be given a minimum sentence, that they were not directly involved,” he said.
All the three men convicted in the gangrape of an Anglo-Indian woman on Park Street here were on Friday sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment, which is the minimum punishment for those convicted under the Indian Penal Code’s section 376 (2)(g).
“My daughter is dead… doesn’t the PP realise that? If a PP is fighting for you for four years then the sentence should match the conviction, then the PP can’t defend the defendants.
“My question is how can this be done? I do not want them (accused) to get further advantages from this error, this mistake. I am appealing to the higher courts to stop any advantage that they might get. My appeal will be solely against the quantum. I am not happy with the quantum because of what transpired later in the case,” the father added.
Pronouncing the sentence during in-camera proceedings, Additional Sessions Judge Chiranjib Bhattacharya also slapped fines of Rs.1 lakh each on the three accused – Ruman Khan, Naser Khan and Sumit Bajaj.
The woman — then 40 years old, a divorcee and mother of two — was beaten up and gang-raped by five men at gun-point inside a moving car and then thrown off the vehicle near a city intersection on the night of February 5, 2012, after she had come out of a night club on fashionable Park Street.
Prime accused Kader Khan and co-accused Mohammed Ali were still absconding.