Four Convicts sentenced to death in the Delhi gang rape case
The judge said that it is responsibility of the court to instil confidence among women in the country
Souzeina Mushtaq Delhi
Four convicts in Delhi gang rape cum murder of the 23-year-old paramedic student were sentenced to death by the fast track court on Friday, September 13. The judgement termed as “historic” came nine months after the incident, which had evoked wide spread protests in India and elsewhere.
“Death to all,” the Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said. “Court cannot turn a blind eye to such a gruesome act,” he said, while pronouncing the judgement, adding “When crime against women is rising on day-to-day basis, so, at this point in time court cannot keep its eye shut.” He pointed out that the act has shocked the collective conscience of society.
“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 pronounced.
The girl was gang raped by five men, and one juvenile, for nearly an hour in a moving bus even as her male friend was brutally assaulted. They had also ripped apart her abdomen with an iron rod and pulled the internal organs out. The duo was later thrown out of the moving bus- naked and semi-conscious.
The four convicts Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) besides murder, were also convicted for offences including gangrape, unnatural offences, attempt to murder, dacoity, destruction of evidence, conspiracy, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder.
Reading a portion of the order, the judge said there was a need to send a strong message. “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.”
The main accused in the case Ram Singh was found hanging in his Tihar jail cell on March 11. The juvenile, who was under 18 at the time of the attack, was earlier sentenced to three years detention, the maximum allowed under juvenile law.
Hearing the verdict, one of the accused, Vinay broke down in court while the other three convicts shouted for mercy. Defence lawyer AP Singh alleged a government conspiracy behind the death sentence. “I will appeal against the punishment,” he said.
Meanwhile, the family of the victim, which was present in the jam-packed court room expressed their satisfaction over the verdict. “We were waiting for the verdict, now we are relieved. I thank the people of my country and the media,” the mother said.
Soon after the verdict, there were celebrations outside the court premises. Some women even danced. “We have won. They will be hanged,” shouted one of the jubilant women. When asked if the judgement will change anything in the country for women, they said it has marked a beginning of a new dawn. “With the death to these criminals, others will get a cue that they cannot rape women,” the group said.