A special court in Mumbai bench comprising Special Judge H C Shende in the case of State of Maharashtra vs Mohan Kathwaru Chauhan while awarding death sentence to a 45-year-old man for brutally raping and killing a woman, said that the heinous incident has brought down the dignity of Mumbai, a city that never sleeps.
The case against Mohan Chauhan, a native of Uttar Pradesh, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police in September last year for raping a woman from the Scheduled Caste, was heard in a special court designated to handle cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
According to the allegations, the accused, who has two daughters and a son, raped the woman in a tempo parked on a street in Mumbai’s Saki Naka neighbourhood, then inserted a weapon in her private regions and forcibly pulled out her intestines, killing her.
He was found guilty of rape and murder, as well as other offences under the Bombay Police Act and the SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“In his words, the best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its woman but because of the heinous crime committed against this woman, the society at large shocked.”The court orders invoked Swami Vivekananda, saying
“This incident has brought down the dignity of the society and Mumbai, the city that never sleeps,”The judged stated
In her 244-page decision, the court noted that people of all cultures coexist in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, and that they celebrate all of the festivals together. She went on to say that the Ganpati festival is widely celebrated in the city, with visitors coming from all across the country.
The incident occurred on the night of September 9 and 10, last year, which coincided with Ganesh Chaturthi’s first day.
“This festival is celebrated in large amounts in every nook and corner of the streets of Mumbai. During festivals this city never sleeps. But on that dark night, the city was in such a deep sleep that nobody heard the painful and withering screams and whimpers of the victim of this case,” The Court Observed
The judge detailed the gruesome circumstances that resulted in the woman’s death.
“She was brutally beaten and dragged by her scarf on the road, thrown in the tempo, raped, and then murdered all done forcefully, harshly, and mercilessly. The assailant is so cold blooded, that he inserted the weapon inside her private part, so deep that it pulled out her intestine along with the weapon as well while removing it.”The judge went on to say that not only was the woman murdered, but her dignity was also taken away.
“This incident showed how unsafe it is for women to be out at night alone or even with someone they know in this city,”The Court held
It wouldn’t be surprising if the accused, a worker, and the victim, a vegetable vendor’s daughter, knew each other.
The prosecution, along with the forensic reports, proved its case beyond reasonable doubt by questioning approximately 37 witnesses, according to the court.
Before inflicting the death penalty, the judge considered both the aggravating and mitigating aspects in the case, concluding that the former outweighed the latter.
“I am constrained to hold that the mitigating circumstances like middle age of accused, his socio-economic conditions are insignificant in the light of the aggravating factors. Hence, without any doubt this case falls within the rarest of rare category. Thus, if the objective of punishment is to be achieved, then the maximum punishment will send the message to the society,” The Court stated
The offender had also shown no remorse after committing the act, according to the court.
“To show leniency or mercy in the case of such heinous crime and to the accused who have shown no repentance or remorse after exhibiting extreme depraved mentality would be a travesty of justice. Hence, though this court is fully aware of irrevocable nature of the death sentence, this court has to award the same to the accused in this case,”The Judge Added
The accused Chauhan was found guilty of rape and murder, as well as other offences under the Bombay Police Act and the SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The state was represented by Senior Advocate Raja Thakare and Special Public Prosecutor Mahesh Mule.