The main convict in the Kathua gangrape and murder case on Friday appealed against his conviction to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which admitted the petition on the same day. The court listed July 18 for the hearing of all the appeals by the six convicts in the case, The Indian Express reported.

“Admitted. Recovery of fine shall remain suspended during the pendency of the appeal,” said a division bench comprising Justices Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh Sindhu. Ram had claimed in his petition that there was no “admissible evidence” that establishes the motive behind the crime.

On Monday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had admitted the appeals of four convicts in the gangrape and murder case, The Times of India reported. Among the accused, Parvesh Kumar, and Deepak Khajuria had approached the High Court against their life terms while Anand Dutta and Surinder Kumar had appealed against their five-year jail term.

On June 10, three of the six men convicted in the Kathua rape and murder case were sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court. The other three – special police officer Surinder Kumar, head constable Tilak Raj, and sub-inspector Anand Dutta – were given a five-year jail term for destroying evidence.The court had acquitted Vishal Jangotra, son of Ram, giving him the “benefit of doubt”.

A day after the court verdict, the father of the eight-year-old victim said his family had expected the court to award death penalty to all six convicts. The girl was raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district in January 2018. She belonged to the nomadic Muslim Bakkarwal community.