Judge Quotes Mirza Ghalib to Decry ‘Law of Jungle’ in Kathua Case

Judge Tejwinder Singh said Ghalib’s couplet applies squarely to the facts of the present case.

2 min read
Judge Tejwinder Singh quoted this touching couplet by Mirza Ghalib.
“Pinha tha daam-e-sakht qareeb ashiyaan ke, Udhne hi nahi paye the ki giraftaar hum hue,” read the opening lines of the judgment which sentenced the three main convicts in the Kathua rape and murder case – Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria – to life imprisonment.

Judge Tejwinder Singh quoted this touching couplet by Mirza Ghalib – translated which means, ‘hunters placed the net near a nest and the young one got caught in it before it could even take its first flight’ – saying that it applies squarely to the facts of the present case.

Singh, while declaring the verdict, held that the perpetrators of the Kathua gang rape and murder case acted as if there is a "law of jungle" prevalent in the society,

“An unfortunate kidnapping, drugging, wrongful confinement, rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl has set the criminal law into motion and have put the accused persons under “Sword of Damocles” for a fair trial,” he said.

Three other accused in the case – Surender Verma, Anand Dutta and Tilak Raj – have been sentenced to five years in prison each.

The judge took the reference of the couplet from an SC judgment in a 2011 case of murder of a sex worker in West Bengal.

The 15-page charge sheet filed in April last year said the eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on 10 January 2018 and was gang-raped in captivity in a small village temple, exclusively manned by Sanji Ram, after keeping her sedated for four days. She was later bludgeoned to death, it said.

The crime branch of J&K Police had filed the charge sheet against eight persons, including a juvenile.

The trial against the juvenile is yet to begin as his petition on determining his age is to be heard by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

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