NEW DELHI (TIP): After a nine-month-long trial, a fast track court on September 13 handed down death penalty to all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. The court while pronouncing the judgment said that “it cannot turn a blind eye on the rising cases of sexual assualt against women” and that the incident shook the “collective conscience of the society”. The court said the case falls under rarest of rare category. “In these times when crime against women are on rise, we cannot turn a blind eye towards such gruesome crime,we need to send a message that it will not be tolerated,” the judge said.
Gym instructor Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Thakur, fruitseller Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, who were found guilty in all 13 charges, including murder and rape, were given death sentence by judge Yogesh Khanna today. Out of the six men arrested in the case, Ram Singh committed suicide inside Tihar Jail. Another accused, who was 17 at the time of the crime, was sent to reform home for three years by a juvenile court. The shocking rapemurder case had triggered nationwide protests and debate over women safety in the country and eventually saw the Parliament passing a stringent change in rape laws. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) was amended to provide death penalty in rape cases that cause death of the victim or leave her in a vegetative state. The Act also introduced several other new offences such as causing grievous injury through acid attacks, sexual harassment, use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking. Besides gang rape and murder, the court had 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. “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 had said while pronouncing the judgement on Tuesday. 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 gangraped 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.