Delhi gang-rape case: All four accused convicted, sentencing tomorrow

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Delhi gang-rape case: All four accused convicted, sentencing tomorrow Empty Delhi gang-rape case: All four accused convicted, sentencing tomorrow

Post  Nilesh Patel on Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:29 pm

A special Delhi court on Tuesday found four men guilty of gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus here in December last year, a case that evoked nationwide outrage and led the government to bring in stringent anti-rape laws.

The court would hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on Wednesday.

Besides gang rape and murder, the court held Mukesh (26), Vinay Sharma (20), Pawan Gupta (19) and Akshay Singh Thakur (28) guilty of attempt to murder, unnatural offences, dacoity, destruction of evidence, conspiracy, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, while acquitting them of the charge of murder in dacoity.

Additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna, presiding the special fast track court, also convicted them for kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confining a person, abducting to subject a person to grievous hurt and slavery, abducting woman to cause her defilement, voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery and dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity of the IPC.

As soon as the verdict was delivered, Pawan broke down while Vinay stood in a state of shock.

Mukesh was heard saying, "that they would have to face the consequences for what they have done". The fourth convict Akshay seemed unaffected.

"All the accused have been convicted for various offences including attempt to kill the complainant (victim's male friend), for gang rape with the victim and also for unnatural sex with her and killing the victim...

"The accused have also tried to destroy the evidence after the incident, so they are convicted under section 201 of the IPC. They had abducted the victim to have illicit intercourse with her, so they are convicted under section 366 of the IPC," the judge said while pronouncing the judgement.

The murder charge, for which the four men have been convicted, entails a maximum of death penalty and life term as the minimum punishment.

While pronouncing the verdict, the judge said, even though the proceedings against accused Ram Singh (34), who was found dead in his prison cell after he committed suicide on March 11, were abated, "he is also convicted under same sections (gang rape, murder and other offences)".

On the night of December 16, last year, Ram Singh, Vinay, Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and the juvenile had gang-raped the girl in a bus after luring her and her 28-year-old male friend, who was also assaulted, on board the vehicle, which was later found to be plying illegally on Delhi roads.

The victim's friend, a software engineer, had fractured his limbs in the incident. The girl succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital.

The court relied on the dying declaration of the victim, forensic evidence, including finger prints, dental models, DNA samples and other medical reports of the convicts, electronic evidence and the statements given by them to the police after their arrests.

The judge also said that the presence of the convicts in the bus in which the crime was committed has been established through the location of their mobile networks.

Before pronouncing the over 230-page judgement, the judge thanked the Delhi Police, the prosecution team and the defence counsel for bringing the case to its conclusion.

After pronouncement of judgement, the girl's family members, who were present in the court, said, "The day they (convicts) will be awarded death penalty, justice will said to be done."

Defence lawyer A P Singh alleged the verdict has been delivered under pressure and the four men will now be punished for the offences which they have not committed.

Advocate VK Anand, who appeared for Mukesh, said he will appeal against this conviction in the superior courts as he was only driving the bus.

Mukesh's mother was seen crying in the court while the other family members refused to speak.

Tuesday's decision comes ten days after the juvenile accomplice in the case was sentenced to three-year term at a detention centre after being held guilty by the Juvenile Justice Board of gangrape and murder of the paramedic and robbing a carpenter before the incident.

The trial in the robbery case against the four is on in another court.
Before the judgement was to be delivered, police did not allow several media people to enter the courtroom which led to heated arguments.

Extra police force had to be called in as journalists argued with police personnel to secure entry in the room, which had to be cordoned off in the wake of commotion.

As per the Delhi high court's March 22 order, only one person each from national dailies and news agencies was permitted in the courtroom after checking their credentials and scribes from electronic media were not allowed to enter.

Outside the court complex, around 40 youths had gathered claiming to be from '16 December Kranti', a Facebook-based group, demanding death penalty for all the four convicts.

The court had reserved its judgement on September 3 after the prosecution and the accused concluded their arguments.

During the trial, Mukesh had admitted his presence in the bus, while Vinay, Akshay and Pawan had denied the charges levelled against them.

The case led to formation of fast track courts for trying sexual offences two weeks after the incident.   Let us discuss.

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