Dec 16 gang rape case sentencing Friday

A fast track court, which has convicted four persons in the December 16 gangrape-cum-murder case, on Wednesday fixed September 13 for pronouncing the quantum of sentence to be awarded to them.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna reserved the order on punishment after hearing arguments of the prosecution, which sought death penalty for the four, and the defence lawyers.

The Delhi Police sought death penalty for the four for brutally gangraping and murdering a defenceless 23-year-old girl in a cold blooded manner.

Advancing arguments on quantum of sentence, Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan said the death sentence should be awarded to the four convicts — Mukesh (26), Vinay Sharma (20), Pawan Gupta (19) and Akshay Thakur (28) — as the case falls in the category of “rarest of rare” cases.

The defence lawyers, however, sought a lenient punishment for the convicts, saying life imprisonment in such a case is a rule while death penalty is an exception.

During the arguments, the prosecutor told the court that the convicts do not deserve any mercy, as they killed the helpless girl who kept on pleading for mercy.

“The crime is not only grotesque and diabolic in nature but the barbaric behaviour of the convicts was of the highest kind. Maximum sentence has to be given as the court should see that they have raped and killed a helpless girl, even as she pleaded for her life,” he said.

He said people at large are watching this case and if the convicts are awarded a lighter punishment, the public will lose faith in the judicial system.

“This is an extreme case of depravity and sexual assault of a young girl, who could not survive after their gruesome attack and gangrape.

“The act to damage the girl’s intestines intentionally leaves no scope of sympathy,” the prosecutor argued.

The prosecutor said as per an apex court judgement when there is murder after gangrape, the sentence should be death penalty.

At the start of arguments on point of sentence, convict Mukesh moved an application seeking issuance of contempt notice against Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for his reported statement that death is assured for the four convicts in the case

The court, while convicting the four men on Tuesday, had said that the crime was committed in a “premeditated manner”.

The court convicted them for 13 offences including gangrape, murder, 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.

In the 237-page judgement, which had come six days short of nine months of the incident that shook the nation’s conscience, also found complicity of main accused Ram Singh, who was found dead in Tihar jail during the trial.

On August 31, the juvenile accused was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home.

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

(Source: IANS)

‘Delhi as unsafe for women as on Dec 16’

The only thing constant about change is change itself but this doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to the national capital. Despite the public outcry post the horrific December 16, 2012, gang-rape of a young woman, little seems to have changed for most women, who feel as unsecure as ever.

Despite the police saying they have tightened security in the city, many women feel it is futile to be dependent on anyone, including the police, for their security and they have to be careful and take their own measures to feel safe in the city.

The safety of women late in the evenings continues to be an issue, with suspicious strangers and cars drawing up close if you are alone and waiting at a bus stop or walking on the street after 8 pm. Auto rickshaws play truant and refuse to take women passengers many times at night.

We spoke to a range of women on how safe they feel in the city, which earned the unflattering sobriquet of “rape capital” after the brutal gang-rape. Many women complained about being harassed at bus stops and inside buses. And travelling alone especially during the night becomes a nightmare.

“I travel by bus and after 7.30 pm. I rethink the decision to travel by bus every evening. I do not see any measures (for women’s safety) on the ground. I feel men have got more licence to eve-tease you,” said Swechha Chettri, a software professional, who commutes by bus to her Noida office from South Delhi.

“Post the December 16 gang-rape, there have been so many rape incidents which keep re-instilling the fear in the minds of women who travel during late evenings,” said Rishita Singh, a media professional.

Rishita, who works till late, says she has now become more suspicious of every man she comes across on the streets.

“They (men) are so fearless about staring at a woman’s bust. Even when you escape being raped, how does one escape this harassment, and where?” asked an angry Rishita.
Some women, however, do feel there has been a positive change with the administration being more alert and warnings and notices continuously put out.

“I do see a positive change. The public buses have an electronic scroll continuously relaying the phone numbers one can call in case of harassment, or there are public announcements in buses, on the radio – all the time. I have seen men quickly charge off when told to stand properly in a bus. Earlier, this was not the case,” said Delhi University student Madhulika Sonkar.

Errant auto-rickshaw drivers are another issue that most women complain about when it comes to safety.

“Auto-wallahs refuse to give a ride to women passengers in the night or they charge unreasonable amounts. Just two days back a friend of mine had a harrowing time as she got late from work and all the autos refused to take her to her place,” said Juhi Chaudhary, who writes on wildlife.

“Finally, my friend decided to walk some distance. There were many cars which kept on approaching her and she had to suffer a lot of lewd comments. It was only 9 pm and now she is scared to work beyond 8 pm,” said Chaudhary.

Echoing similar views, Divya Joshi, who works with a public relations company, says auto drivers should be given strict warning if they refuse to take passengers and there has to be severe punishment if they say no to female commuters.

Post December 16, Delhi Police have become approachable as they have set up women help desks in all police stations across Delhi, but more needs to be done, they said.

“Police now have become more sensitive to women complainants but that does not lead to heinous crime from ending. Since the December 16 case, there have been many cases that have come out. I am always alert when I am traveling alone,” said Sangeeta Verma, a homemaker.

“I think each one of us has to introspect where we are taking our society to and do we want our daughters, sisters, mothers and wives to live under continuous threat of being molested or eve teased,” she said.

Many women expressed concerns about the safety of their daughters.

“I have a young schoolgoing daughter and I remain so worried till the time she is back. I have strictly instructed her not be lured by anyone, not eat anything from strangers,” said Rama Devi, who works as a helper in a private office.

A sustained campaign to change mindsets – in homes, schools, among peer groups and in work places – is one of the options suggested which, women feel, can help in reducing crimes against women.

“There has to be swift and harsh punishment and far more police presence,” said Sushmita Malaviya, who works with a NGO in Delhi.

A fast track court Tuesday convicted four men for the December 16, 2012, gang-rape. The victim subsequently died of her grave injuries.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna found the four men guilty under charges of gang rape, murder, attempt to murder the victim’s male friend, unnatural offences, destruction of evidence and dacoity among other offences.

The quantum of sentence will be announced on Wednesday, the judge said.

The nation recorded a staggering 1,036 rape cases in the first eight months of this year, according to police data. The figure is the highest in the last 10 years.

(Source: IANS )

Four accused convicted for Dec 16 gang rape

Four accused in the December 16 Delhi gangrape case were on Tuesday convicted by a court here. The court will announce the quantum of punishment on Tuesday.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna found the four guilty in the case. They were present in the court. They were found guilty on 13 counts.

The court’s decision on accused – Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur — came after almost nine months of the brutal crime in which a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang raped in a moving bus.

The charges against the accused include murder, attempt to murder, gangrape, unnatural offence, dacoity, destruction of evidence, conspiracy.

Victim’s father expressed his happiness over the verdict and said he wants death sentence for all the accused. Victim’s mother also said that she is happy with the verdict.

Defence counsel A.P. Singh said the verdict was under political pressure and his clients are innocent.

“Accused did not get a fair trial. It is a mockery of justice. The verdict was only given to appease people,” he said.

“We have made strict laws on rape, death penalty is assured in this case. The guilty will be hanged in all such future cases,” said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on December 16 gangrape verdict.

“The convicts should be given death penalty; this will set an example for the future,” said BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on December 16 Delhi gangrape case.

“All Convicted! This was never in doubt. What is vital is severity of punishment. Justice demands this to be treated a rarest of rare!,” tweeted Kiran Bedi.

“It was one of the most heinous crime that we have come across. We expect capital punishment in this case. We need to fix the delay in our judicial system. Despite the special court in this case it took seven months. Investigation should also be fast,” said former home secretary R.K. Singh.

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

While an accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar jail, a juvenile involved in the crime was on August 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years after it concluded that he was involved in rape and murder.

Will the four accused get death sentence?

12:40 pm: The Saket court hearing the case held all four accused Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur guilty of being involved in the brutal gangrape and murder which took place on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in Delhi. The court will announce the quantum of punishment tomorrow.

12:37 pm: All four accused in December 16 Delhi gangrape accused held guilty.

12:02 pm: Court to deliver verdict in Delhi gangrape case shortly. 

10:55 am: The lessons learnt from the December 16, 2012 gangrape would be shared with all officers, said Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi.

10:35 am: Government likely to amend Juvenile Justice Act: Sources to Headlines Today.

10:20 am: Fast-track court to pronounce its verdict around 12:30 pm.

10:10 am: Won’t rest till all accused are given death penalty: Victim’s father to Headlines Today.

10:03 am: Delhi gangrape victim’s family also reaches court.

10:00 am: All four Delhi gangrape accused brought to Saket court.

09:57 am: Fast-track court to pronounce its verdict in December 16 gangrape case.

There has never been as much anger at the death of a girl, the riots that followed her death and the subsequent sentencing of an accused-especially a juvenile -than it has been in the gruesome December 16 Delhi gangrape and murder case.

The case was put on a fast-track hearing but speedy justice was an illusion since it took seven months and 130 hearings to reach a culmination.

Moreover, reported to be the “demon” among the accused in the December 16 Delhi gangrape case, the juvenile accused escaped severe punishment only because he was 170 days short of turning 18 and therefore was punished under the prevalent juvenile laws and not the Indian Penal Code, under which his five co-accused are undergoing trial.

The incident occurred after the woman and her male companion boarded the bus in Munirka in south Delhi.
The six accused threw both of them out of the vehicle — without clothes — on the streets in the cold December night after committing the ghastly crime, police said.

The gangrape victim succumbed to her injuries on December 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

(Source: IANS)

Dec 16 gangrape: IO denies false case against accused

The crucial cross-examination of the lady police officer probing the December 16 gang-rape on Tuesday commenced in the Delhi court where she refuted the charge by the accused that a false case has been foisted on them at the behest of a criminal lawyer and uncle of victim’s male friend.

The officer, who is also the prime witness in the case, replied in the negative to the question that the victim’s initial statement was manipulated by her as the names of the accused were not mentioned in it.

“It is wrong to suggest that I met the maternal uncle (a criminal advocate) of the complainant (male friend of victim), in hospital. It is further wrong to suggest that the maternal uncle of the complainant, with an intention to save his nephew, had been requesting me to make false case against the accused persons,” she said in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna.

The sub-inspector, posted at Vasant Vihar police station here, in her cross-examination by accused Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur said she was told about the number of assailants in the bus.

“It is further wrong to suggest that the complainant had not told me about the number of the assailants (accused) in the bus. However, it is correct that he did not tell the registration number of the bus or the names of the accused persons,” she said to a question by the accused’s counsel.

(Source: PTI)