"The court has to keep in mind the interest of the society at large and the case does not have any ground for leniency," observed Principal Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi while pronouncing the sentence to accused Mohammed Badshah Ansari, who was convicted on charges of rape, unnatural offence, trespass, criminal intimidation and destruction of evidence.
In November 2012, Ansari forcibly entered the 28-year-old musician's flat through a window and at knife point allegedly robbed and raped her. The victim was staying as a tenant on the third floor of a building at Perry Cross Road in Bandra.
Before the sentencing, Badshah told the court that he was implicated in the case and sought leniency citing that he has a mother, wife and two children dependent on him. However, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam argued that the ground of leniency should not be taken into consideration as the accused was mature enough while committing the crime and that age could not be the only determinant in arriving at the sentence.
Nikam further said that Badshah had a very bad criminal antecedent and he was a habitual robber. Also, he had the intention to kill the victim and therefore after sexually abusing the Spanish national, he told her "Ab tum khatam" (you are finished).
The Public Prosecutor also told the court that Badshah got pleasure in torturing the victim and any reformatory approach could not bring down his perverse ways.
"He put the defenceless, poor, helpless girl in such a situation that she refused to come back to India for even deposing in the case. She left India with a bad impression and it was question of the image of the nation," Nikam argued.
The victim had deposed in the court via video link from Germany. Nikam told the court that the testimony of the victim was the most important piece of evidence in the case in which prosecution had examined 12 witnesses.
Mumbai police had arrested Ansari on November 6, 2012 and the charge sheet was filed in January this year. A day later, he was produced in the court and the police had sought his judicial custody as they wanted to conduct his identification parade.
Ansari was booked for various offences including IPC sections 452 (house trespass), 392 (robbery), 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
Earlier too, Ansari was arrested on October 27, 2012 in another case of robbery at the residence of actor Dino Morea. He was picked up from his residence in Reay Road in this case and was later arrested. However, he was released on bail, following which he again took to crime. After the verdict, Badshah broke down and cried bitterly.