On Wednesday, the prosecution sought the death penalty for Chandrabhan Sanap after he had been convicted by a special women’s court on Tuesday for raping and murdering Esther Anuhya.
Esther Anuhya and Chandrabhan Sanap
The prosecution said that he does not deserve any sympathy or to have any mercy shown to him. Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare began with the arguments for sentencing by demanding the death sentence for Sanap.
He began by saying, “In the present case, there are two offences of which the accused has been found guilty which attract the death penalty, namely the offences under sections 302 (murder) and 376A (while committing rape, inflicting an injury that causes a woman’s death) of the Indian Penal Code. It is very relevant to note that section 376A has come on the statue book as late as 2013 and that too specifically after the Nirbhaya case.”
Crimes against women
Thakare spoke on what Esther’s family might have gone through. He said, “Esther was a working woman expecting to get engaged, an engineer by profession, who had left her parental abode and was travelling alone. There are no words to console her family. On January 5 (2014), she arrived in Mumbai and went missing…until her body was found.”
Citing the mitigating circumstances, Thakare said, “The accused may say he has a wife and an old mother to be looked after, but the accused himself has not cared about the impact of his ghastly act on the family of the deceased, who was a well-educated engineer and a working woman. Consequently, the accused cannot plead this as a ground for leniency.”
Thakare also said that each of the mitigating circumstances like Sanap’s age — early 30s — his now-cured tuberculosis infection, the fact that he has old parents, a wife and two young children and no complaints from jail authorities, should not let him escape the maximum punishment.
Sanap’s three marriages, Thakare argued, showed that he was a womaniser. “He committed rape to satisfy his lust… he has lost the right to live in society,” he said. At the end, Thakare said, for all these reasons, the accused does not deserve any sympathy or to have any mercy shown to him.
“Sympathy, if shown, would be misplaced and counterproductive and would send a wrong signal to society. Neither the parents of the innocent victim nor society would feel that justice has been done. Therefore the accused should be awarded the death penalty.” The final sentencing will take place on Friday.