Kathua rape case: SI convicted for destroying evidence granted bail

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to a Jammu and Kashmir Police sub-inspector convicted for destroying evidence in the 2018 Kathua rape case.

Sub Inspector Anand Dutta was one of the three accused who were convicted to sabotage the rape case and were sentenced to five years in jail under section 201 of IPC for causing destruction of evidence.

“Punjab and Haryana HC has granted bail to police SI Anand Datta who was convicted for destroying evidence in 2018 Kathua rape case. I argued that there was no reason to convict him under Section 201 of IPC despite acquittal in murder, rape and corruption charges,” lawyer Bipan Ghai said.

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In January 2018, the gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir caused nationwide outrage, a Pathankot court had convicted mastermind Sanjhi Ram and two others for murder, gangrape and conspiracy and sentenced them to life imprisonment while three police officials were found guilty of destroying evidence and given five-year jail terms.

The District and Sessions judge had pronounced the three main accused–Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria–guilty and convicted them under Sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 376 (d) (gang rape), 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison), 363 (Kidnapping or maiming a minor), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 343 (Wrongful confinement for three or more days) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).

Police officials Anand Dutt, Sub Inspector, Tilak Raj (Head Constable) and Surender Verma, Special Police Officer, have been sentenced to five years in jail under section 201 of IPC for causing destruction of evidence. They have also been directed to pay Rs 20,000 each.

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