Shimla: Justice seems
to be in a state of suspended animation in the sensational case of
of medical student Aman Kachroo who died after being ragged by
four seniors in Himachal Pradesh.
Almost one-and-a-half years have passed since 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
But, so far neither has the state's appeal for enhancing the
sentence nor has the appeal of the convicts against the verdict
made any headway in the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
At least six judges of the high court have recused themselves from
hearing the case that at one point of time shook the nation.
The next date of hearing is yet to be notified.
"The matter has once again brought into focus the need for
expeditious disposal of cases, especially those that serve as an
exemplary one for future cases like ragging," Aman's father,
Rajendar Kachroo, told IANS.
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 intention) and
342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code by Additional
District and Sessions Judge Purinder Vaidya.
Aman, 19, who had been in the medical college since 2007, died
March 8, 2009, after he was ragged by four drunk seniors.
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 the
theory of the realistic jurisprudence was applied against the
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 and 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 the second, the trial court had shown leniency while
pronouncing the quantum of punishment.
The autopsy report of Aman confirms the cause of death as
neurogenic shock due to ante-mortem head injury - sub-arachnoid
The magisterial inquiry conducted by the state government into
Aman's death had concluded that he died due to ragging.
"Aman collapsed and died due to injuries which the post-mortem
report has linked to the incident of ragging," said the report,
holding then college principal Suresh Sankhyan responsible for the
Advocate General R.K. Bawa said: "There should be no delay in
disposing of any case. Efforts should be made for quick disposal,
especially in custodial cases."
But an aghast Kachroo told IANS on phone from Delhi: "It's indeed
a low point for the Indian judiciary when judges take into account
local sentiments in deciding whether a case should be taken up by
them or not."
The four convicts in the case have already spent three years
behind bars and expect to be out the next year after the
completion of the sentence, even if their appeal remains
Aman, whose family originally hails from Jammu and Kashmir but is
now settled in Gurgaon near Delhi, was said to be a brilliant
student. He did his schooling from DPS International in Saket in
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)