The Delhi High Court last week upheld the sentence of life imprisonment for five people convicted for raping a Danish woman in the capital in January, 2014.
The Bench comprising Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta rejected the appeals filed by the convicts, who had been charged with robbing and gang-raping the woman at knifepoint after dragging her to a deserted place near the Divisional Railway Officers’ Club, which is located about a few hundred meters from the New Delhi Railway Station.
As per the order, the Court refused to take note of certain discrepancies in the survivor's testimony, noting, "It must be remembered that PW-12 came back to India nearly 18 months after the incident and was deposing in Court on 1st July 2015. Some leeway has to be given for this lapse of time and the further fact that she had suffered a traumatic experience. Her uncertainty has to be understood in this context. She was in a foreign land encountering perfect strangers. The time of rape was in the evening hours of 14th January 2014 when sunset occurred early. Therefore, her uncertainty about the exact identification of some of the accused was understandable."
It further noted that her allegations were supported by DNA evidence received from the place of occurrence of crime, observing, "In the considered view of the Court, the convincing evidence of PW-12 has been fully corroborated by the forensic evidence in the form of the DNA Profile analysis. This by itself conclusively proves not only the presence of the accused at the scene of crime but their involvement in the commission of gang rape on the victim."
The Court then opined that no grounds for interference were made out and dismissed the appeals.