New Delhi: Holding the December 16 gangrape and murder case as “extremely fiendish” and “unparalleled in the history of criminal jurisprudence”, the Delhi High Court Thursday upheld the death sentence of four convicts in the case, saying “exemplary punishment” is the need of the hour.
Rejecting the appeals by the convicts against the trial court’s verdict, the high court said the offences were “completely revolting” and committed in an “extremely fiendish, demoniac, barbaric and nefarious manner”.
“Exemplary punishment is, therefore, the need of the hour, for, if this is not the rarest of rare cases there is likely to be none,” it said.
The court, in its 340-page judgement, confirmed the death reference of Delhi government and simultaneously, rejected the appeals of four surviving convicts, Akshay Thakur (29), Vinay Sharma (21), Pawan Gupta (20) and Mukesh (27).
“We conclude by stating the obvious that a strong message needs to be sent to the perpetrators of grotesque and ghastly crimes against women that such crimes shall not be countenanced, though we confess that we are not aware of any case in which a crime of such dimensions has been committed hitherto before.
“We cannot also but be conscious of the fact that the gruesome manner of the execution of the crime in the instant case is in a sense unparalleled in the history of criminal jurisprudence and that if the rising trend towards such crime is not nipped in the bud and arrested at its inception, the poison is likely to spread like wild fire through the social order, rendering it hapless and defunct,” a bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani said.
The court, in its verdict, also dealt with the nature and the manner of the offence and the subsequent trauma suffered by the 23-year-old paramedic on the fateful night of December 16, 2012, when she was brutally assaulted and gangraped by six persons in a moving bus in South Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
“The offence in the present case has indubitably been committed in an extremely fiendish, demoniac, barbaric and nefarious manner. Also the manner in which the offence has been committed is demonstrative of exceptional licentiousness and perversion of a superlative degree.
“Further, the time, place, manner of execution and the motive behind the commission of the crime speaks volumes of the pre-meditated and callous nature of the offence. The medical evidence charters the hellish misery and trauma inflicted upon the prosecutrix before her death,” it said adding, “The entire incident is completely revolting, gruesome and spine chilling.”
Moments after Justice Khetrapal read out the operative part of the judgement in the packed courtroom, defence lawyer A P Singh said an appeal would be filed in the apex court.
The victim’s mother with moist eyes said she and her family would be satsified only when the perpatrators are hanged.
“We have got full faith in the judiciary. We had expected this verdict. But the ultimate satisfaction will be when the convicts meet their ultimate fate,” she said.
Justice Pratibha Rani, who wrote a separate verdict, agreed with the findings of Justice Khetrapal.
“The incident of gang rape in the running bus on the night of 16th December, 2012 when brought to light by media, sparked an unprecedented public movement when people from every strata of society in the country came on a common platform demanding justice for the victim.
“The outcry was for safety of women and punishment proportionate to the crime for the offenders. Public demand was for amending penal law thereby prescribing death sentence in deserving cases of rape/gang rape,” Justice Rani said.
The court has also dealt in great detail the ordeal of the victim who had succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
“The convicts did not spare any cavity in her body as they not only satisfied their lust by committing rape per vagina and anal, but also put their male organ in her mouth. They did not stop there and after satisfying their lust, to draw sadistic pleasure, they inserted rods in her private part.
“After being gang raped and insertion of the rods, she was further tortured in most inhuman and barbaric manner by inserting hand in her vagina and pulling out her internal organ. She was not spared even thereafter and despite she being critical, they pulled her hair and dragged her from rear portion of the bus to the front gate and threw her out of the bus alongwith her friend in nude condition, in the bushes, on the road side,” Justice Rani said.
Prime accused Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail in March last year and the trial against him was abated.
The sixth accused, the juvenile was on August 31, 2013 convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home by the Juvenile Justice Board.