Punjab High Court denies parole to key conspirator in Kathua rape and murder case

The High court of Punjab and Haryana Tuesday, following the apprehension of community clashes and protests in Jammu and Kashmir, turned down the parole plea of Sanji Ram- an accused in the January 2018 gang rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.

A Bench rejected the plea after the apprehension of community clashes and protests in Jammu and Kashmir was expressed if the petitioner was granted the benefit of parole to attend his son’s marriage, The Tribune reported.

“Given the genuine apprehension expressed as regards the possible law and order consequences, if the petitioner’s prayer for parole is granted, the court is not inclined to accept such prayer at this stage,” the Bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Avneesh Jhingan asserted while dismissing the petition.

On June 10, 2019, a court in Pathankot had convicted six of the seven accused in the rape and murder case.

In his petition filed against the State of Jammu and Kashmir and other respondents, Sanji Ram had prayed for eight-week parole to attend the marriage.

Jammu and Kashmir was represented by senior advocate RS Cheema and Arshdeep Singh Cheema, the report said.

The report added that as the case came up for hearing through videoconferencing, a report by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, Jammu, dated October 31 was placed on record.

It stated that the victim’s relatives had returned from the higher reaches to Rasana village, where the marriage was scheduled to take place.

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