Mumbai Police has sought capital punishment for the 45-year-old driver, who had raped and murdered a 32-year-old woman in the Sakinaka area of Mumbai by inserting a sharp object inside her private parts on September 10, 2021.
After hearing both the prosecution and the defence, additional sessions judge HC Shende reserved the order on the quantum of punishment.
The hearing on Wednesday was interrupted by the frequent yelling of the accused driver who had to be taken out of the court. The accused, Mohan Chouhan, hurled abuse at the investigators and the prosecution lawyers and shouted, “Ek bewadi ke peeche Mera pura life barbad hogaya (my life is ruined because of a drunkard).”
The Mumbai court convicted Chouhan on Monday. Seeking the death penalty for the accused, public prosecutor Mahesh Mule argued, “This is a gruesome, diabolical attack on a hapless, lonely woman at odd hours of the night, thereby raising fear for woman’s safety in a metropolitan city like Mumbai.”
Mule added, “It was a cold-blooded attack as can be noticed from the subsequent conduct of the accused, which has been captured in the nearby CCTV footage which shows how calmly the accused walks away from the scene of offence after the crime.”
Special Public Prosecutor Mahesh Mule submitted that the attack on the victim was gruesome and it involved a brutal attack on her private parts, which was so severe that it caused her death. It was also submitted that the attack was ‘cold-blooded’ and the accused had shown ‘scant regard for womanhood’. The incident, which occurred at odd hours, had ‘raised fear for women’s safety in a metropolitan city like Mumbai’.
Chauhan’s lawyer Kalpana Waskar, who was appointed from the legal aid panel, said the convict has no criminal antecedents and his dependents, including his wife, will suffer if he is given the death penalty. It was also submitted that he had cooperated during the proceedings and the incident cannot be categorised as rarest of rare. Chauhan also told the court that he was falsely implicated.
However, during the hearing, he was asked to leave the court for a brief period due to his misbehavior. SPP Mule told the court that this should be considered as the convict was showing no repentance or remorse.
On the intervening night of September 9 and September 10, the victim was found lying in an injured condition in Saki Naka. She was taken to a civic-run hospital, where she passed away on September 11. Police arrested Chauhan and a chargesheet was filed in the case within 18 days, in which it was claimed that he had sexually assaulted the victim after she refused to have sex with him. During the assault, he allegedly forcefully inserted a sharp object into her private parts, causing fatal injuries.