The Bombay High Court has upheld the life sentence awarded to a 21-year-old youth for stabbing to death a prostitute who refused to marry him.
A division Bench of justices Anil Menon and Vijaya Tahilramani recently dismissed an appeal filed by the convict, Anant, alias Rakesh Ratan Let, against a sessions court order convicting him for the murder.
He is currently serving his sentence in Nashik Central prison.
The judges held, “We are of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed murder of Zarina by assaulting her with a knife and in the course of the incident, injuries were also inflicted on Reshma, also engaged in prostitution, who tried to save the victim.”
For causing injuries to Reshma, the convict, who hails from suburban Andheri, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
The sentences were to run concurrently. Even this sentence has been unheld by the High Court.
“Finding of blood of the group of the deceased (Zarina) on the clothes of the appellant (shirt, pant and underwear) is a strong incriminating factor against the appellant,” the HC judges noted in their findings.
Besides, the accused was found to have sustained a deep cut injury on his left thumb. “This is sufficient to prove that he had been involved in the attack on Zarina and Reshma,” said the Judges.
Reshma and her neighbour had identified Anant as the person who had stabbed Zarina. Reshma had seen him attacking Zarina after the latter shouted for help while the other witness who was staying in neighbourhood had heard Zarina’s cries for help, the bench noted.
The assailant was overpowered by people after Reshma grappled with him at a residence in Grant Road where they were engaged in prostitution.
The incident occurred in 2009 and a sessions court convicted the accused after a trial in June 2010