Delhi gangrape: Convicts awarded death sentence

Sep 13, 2013, 16:01 IST | Agencies

Court awards death penalty to the four convicts in the December 16 gangrape and murder case of a 23-year-old paramedic student.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna Friday said it is the "rarest of the rare case" and has "shocked the collective conscience of the nation".

"Death to all," Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said while delivering the verdict in the case  that shook the nation and made world headlines.

"Besides discussing others offences, I straightaway come to section 302 (murder) of IPC. This falls under inhuman nature of the convicts and the gravity of offence they committed cannot be tolerated. Death sentence is given to all the four convicts," he said.

The offence committed by Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) falls under the rarest of rare category warranting capital punishment, the judge said.

"Court cannot turn a blind eye to such a gruesome act," the judge said, while handing down the maximum punishment. 

Delhi gangrape
People outside Saket Court complex in New Delhi on Wednesday calling for the convicted to be hanged after they were found guilty of the brutal gangrape and murder of the 23-year-old. File pic/AFP

He said, "When crime against women is rising on day-to-day basis, so, at this point in time court cannot keep its eye shut. There should be exemplary punishment in view of the unparalleled brutality with which the victim was gangraped and murdered, as the case falls under the rarest of rare category. All be given death," the court said while reading out a portion of the order.

"This is a time when serious crime against a woman has come to the fore and now its judiciary's responsibility to instil confidence among the women," it said.

Besides murder, the four have been also convicted for offences including gangrape, unnatural offences, attempt to murder, dacoity, destruction of evidence, conspiracy, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, while acquitting them of the charge of murder in dacoity.

Immediately after pronouncement of sentence, the victim's mother expressed satisfaction over the verdict. "’Halak mein saans atki thi, jo ab bahar nikli hai. Mein dhanywaad karti hu desh ke logon ka aur media ka' (We were waiting with bated breath, now we are relieved. I thank the people of my country and the media)," she said. Besides her, the victim's father and two brothers were also present in the jam-packed courtroom when the sentence was pronounced.

Hearing that he will face the gallows, Vinay started crying in court while the other three convicts-Mukesh, Pawan, Akshay-started shouting for pardon, with one of the defence lawyers A P Singh also joining them in seeking mercy. Advocate V K Anand, who appeared for Mukesh, said he has regard for the verdict and he will file an appeal in the Delhi High Court.

Special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan said, "I have done my job and we (prosecution) are happy with the verdict." Soon after the verdict was delivered, people waiting outside the courtroom started clapping. 

The court Tuesday while convicting the four men, called the crime "premeditated" and "brutal".

It convicted the four men for gang raping the 23-year-old woman, inflicting grave injuries on her, and leaving her to die by a roadside on a cold Dec 16, 2012, night in an abhorring case that jolted the nation and made global headlines.

Additional Session Judge Yogesh Tuesday said the injuries on the victim, including "18 injuries" to her internal organs, inflicted by the accused were "dangerous" and " cause death".

The court said the convicts' act of inserting a rod into the body of the victim was done "intentionally" to kill her.

Case History
The gangrape occurred after the woman and her male companion boarded the bus in Munirka in south Delhi to return home after watching a movie.

The six attackers in the bus threw both the woman and her male companion out of the vehicle -- without clothes -- on the street in the cold December night after committing the crime, police said.

The woman died of her injuries Dec 29 at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi's Tihar Jail in March this year, while a juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum sentence that can be given to juveniles under Indian law.

The incident sparked nationwide protests and nudged the central government into enacting a stringent anti-rape law.

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