The verdict in the infamous Kathua rape infamous Kathua rape and murder case will be delivered by the special court sessions judge of Pathankot Tejwinder Singh at 11 am on Monday, June 10.
The case involves the kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl from a nomadic community of Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district on January 11, 2018, following which she was allegedly gang-raped by the accused at a temple in Kathua and was murdered by the miscreant four days later.
On January 17, the victim's mutilated body was found near a forest area. According to the police charge sheet, the girl was held captive and sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.
The state crime branch had arrested eight people in connection with the case, including government officials. A former revenue official Sanji Ram, his son Vishal Jangotra are the main accused and four policemen including his friend and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj and two special police officers identified as Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma are the accused. Tilak Raj and Anand Dutta have been accused of destroying crucial evidence in the case.
The main accused Sanji Ram is alleged to have hatched the conspiracy along with the other accused, to kidnap the girl as part of a strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.
The Supreme Court had shifted the trial from Kathua to Pathankot on May 7, 2018, after the girl's father approached the apex court saying that he and his family's lives were at stake in Jammu.
After the day-to-day in-camera trial ended on June 3, after both the prosecution and defence counsels examined 114 witnesses in a year, Judge Tejwinder Singh had announced that the verdict will be announced on June 10. Tight security has been arranged at the court premises due to the high-profile nature of the case.
The case was handed over to the crime branch after the two police officers were arrested. Three of the seven accused are facing charges of rape in addition to other charges in the case. One of the accused is facing charges for attempt to rape and another accused is facing the charge for a conspiracy behind the alleged gang rape.
The charges against the accused people have been formulated under the sections 120B, 328, 363, 343, 376D, 302, 328 and 201 of the Jammu and Kashmir State Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) against the accused of criminal conspiracy, gang rape and murder.
The accused, if convicted, would face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment and a maximum of the death penalty.