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Aman Kachroo Ragging Death Case Trial Begins In Himachal High Court

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Aman Kachroo Ragging-to-Death Case Trial Begins in HCAlmost two years later and six of the eleven high court judges had recused themselves from hearing the trial, the sensational ragging-to-death case of medical student Aman Kachroo which once shook the nation, has finally come up for hearing in the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

The case came up for hearing before the division bench of Justice R.B. Misra and Justice Surinder Singh and continued for over two hours Wednesday with defence counsel R.S. Cheema pleading against the verdict of the lower court. The next hearing is put for December 12. Meanwhile Kachroo’s alleged killers have already “completed” their jail sentence and are currently out. The state is seeking enhancement of their punishment, even as the accused insist they are innocent.

Aman, 19, was in the medical college since 2007. He died March 8, 2009, after he was ragged by his four drunk seniors.

Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma were held guilty Nov 11, 2010, under Sections 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 34 (common intent) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code by Additional District and Sessions Judge Purinder Vaidya after 20 months of trial.

Almost two years have passed since the four students of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital at Tanda town in Kangra district were convicted and sentenced to four years’ rigorous imprisonment for culpable homicide by a fast-track Dharamsala court.

Within one month of the trial court verdict, all four accused moved the high court against the decision. One of the petitioners, Naveen, contended that the trial was highlighted by the media, both electronic and print, and that the judgment had been influenced by the reports in the media.

On the other hand, the state moved against the verdict on two counts. First, Aman was brutally beaten under the garb of ragging by his seniors; the state sought higher punishment under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code on charges of murder, not under Sections 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). And second, the trial court had shown leniency while pronouncing the quantum of punishment.

However, the state government freed the convict students Aug 15 this year, seven months before their four-year rigorous imprisonment was to end.

Rajendar Kachroo, Aman’s father settled in Gurgaon near Delhi, had expressed his displeasure when the convicts were released in this way even before the end of the term, when he came to know about it.

“Today I am disheartened not because the killers of my son have been set free, but because the message I have been trying to convey to all students across the nation, that is, that crimes disguised as ragging will not be tolerated, has been undermined by the Himachal Pradesh government,” he had then said.

Rajendra Kachroo is monitoring the National Ragging Prevention Program jointly with the University Grants Commission. He has also launched an anti-ragging website where the victims of ragging can register their complaints.

Also Read : Anti-Ragging Website Launched

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