Sessions court says crime showed ‘exceptional depravity’
A sessions court in Mumbai on Friday awarded the death penalty to 29-year-old Debasis Dhara for raping and killing a physiotherapist at Vile Parle in December 2016. Dhara, who used to work as a labourer in a factory close to the victim’s house, ran away after committing the murder and was arrested from his hometown in West Bengal in February 2017.
The Mumbai police filed a 650-page chargesheet in the case, following which the sessions court had framed charges against Dhara for rape and murder. Sessions judge Abhishri Dnyaneshwar Deo termed the nature and brutality of the case as the rarest of rare and said, “This unprovoked crime demonstrated exceptional depravity in the mind of the convict.” The court also said the accused appeared to be searching for his prey by peeping into the victim’s house at midnight before forcibly entering it.
Dhara pleaded for leniency saying he came from a poor family among other things, but the court refused to grant him leniency and said ‘he should be hanged by neck till death.’ The victim was subjected to such inhuman acts that it shocks the collective conscience, said the court. It also said the act calls for withdrawal of any protective arm of the community.
“This ghastly act of the convict definitely fits this case in the bracket of the rarest of rare cases,” said the judge. The court also recommended adequate compensation to the victim’s family under the Manodhairya scheme. On December 6, 2016, Dhara raped the victim and then strangulated with her pair of jeans at her residence in Vile Parle. Dhara then put several books around her body and set it on fire to destroy evidence. The murder came to light when neighbours noticed smoke coming out of the victim’s house and alerted the police.
Special public prosecutor Raja Thackeray sought the death penalty for Dhara, saying it was a perverse act that he committed to satisfy his lust. He said the accused had no remorse for his actions. Dhara’s lawyer pleaded that he had no criminal antecedents, and that there was a possibility of reform and rehabilitation of the accused. However, the court refused to accept his pleas.