Death Sentence of four convicts in Delhi Gang Rape Case upheld by the Delhi High Court [Read Judgment]

Death Sentence of four convicts in Delhi Gang Rape Case upheld by the Delhi High Court [Read Judgment]

High Court of Delhi on Thursday, confirmed the death sentence awarded to the accused in the Delhi Gang Rape Case by upholding the decision of a Delhi fast-track court awarding death penalty to four convicts in the December 16 gang rape-cum-murder of a physiotherapy student.

 A Bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani upheld the judgment of the Trial Court after hearing the appeals of the four convicts and also the death reference sent by the trial court.

Counsel who appeared for the Appellants vehemently contended for the commutation of death sentence on the ground that all the convicts are young and have family to support. They also argued that the facts and circumstances of this case are not sufficient to categorize the present case as the rarest of rare cases justifying the imposition of death penalty.

Prosecution contended that by giving the maximum sentence, the message to the society would be that deviant behaviour of extreme kind will not be tolerated. He further contented that looking at the crime committed by the convicts, there is no valid ground for interference in the sentence.

Accepting the contentions of the prosecution, the Bench held that it is appropriate to uphold the death sentence given to the four accused.

While dismissing the appeals Court observed as follows

It is the duty of the Court to impose appropriate sentence having regard to the nature of the crime and the pre-planned manner in which atrocities were committed on the hapless victim, having due regard not only the rights of criminal but also that of the victim. The cruel acts committed by the convicts are such that if appropriate sentence is not awarded, rage of the society would not be satisfied and our justicing system would be rendered suspect. This would be having devastating effect as common man will lose faith in the Courts. Any leniency shown in the matter would not only be misplaced but would give rise to a feeling of private revenge among the people leading to lawlessness in the society. The Court would not like such a situation to prevail. The victim has been subjected to such a cruelty which is extremely brutal, inhuman and unheard of.

Irrespective of the fact whether the death sentence has deterrent effect or not, to award lesser   punishment to the convicts by letting them escape the death penalty would do more harm to the justice system.

The motive of the convicts while alluring the victim and her friend to board the bus, motivation of the perpetrators, the vulnerability and the helplessness of the victim, the enormity of the crime, the barbaric and inhuman act of inserting rods and hand in her private part, taking out her internal organs, pulling her with hair, dragging her from rear portion of the bus to the front gate and throwing out of the bus alongwith her friend in nude condition on the road side, persuade us to hold that this is a case where not only to deter others from committing such atrocious crimes but also to give emphatic expression to society‟s abhorrence of such crimes, death penalty needs to be confirmed established beyond reasonable doubt that it is a case of gravest crime of extreme brutality by the convicts shocking the collective conscience of the society and clearly falls under the yardstick laid down by the Apex Court in various decisions.

The Fast track Court’s verdict dated 12-09-2013 was one generally welcomed by the Legal fraternity as well as the general public. It was on December 16th, 2012 that a physiotherapy student was brutally gangraped in the National Capital. The victim along with a male friend was travelling in a bus and it was in the moving bus, she was gang raped by six other men in the same bus. The victim later succumbed to her injuries in a hospital at Singapore where she was undergoing emergency treatment.

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