On Friday, Four convicts in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape-cum-murder case were awarded death penalty by a Delhi court which said the gravity of the offence cannot be tolerated.
The four were convicted by the court on September 10 for the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student.
The offence committed by Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) falls under the rarest of rare category warranting capital punishment, the judge said.
Besides murder, the four have been also convicted for offences including gangrape, 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.
Immediately after pronouncement of sentence, the victim’s mother expressed satisfaction over the verdict.
After the sentence was pronounced, Vinay started crying in court while the other three convicts — Mukesh, Pawan, Akshay — started shouting for pardon, with one of the defence lawyers A.P. Singh also joining them in seeking mercy.
Soon after the verdict was delivered, people waiting outside the courtroom started clapping.
The operative part of the judgement, handing down the death sentence to the Delhi convicts also orders the four men to pay a total of Rs 55,000 each to the 23-year-old victim’s family.
The sentence says, “The convicts, namely, convict Akshay Kumar Singh Thakur, convict Mukesh, convict Vinay Sharma and convict Pawan Gupta Kaalu are sentenced to death for offence punishable under section 302 Indian Penal Code. Accordingly, the convicts be hanged by neck till they are dead. Fine of Rs.10,000/- to each of the convict is also imposed and in default of payment of fine such convict shall undergo simple Imprisonment for a period of one month.
In addition to this, the judge also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 for each of the sections of the IPC that they were convicted under: namely sections 365, 366, 376, 377, 307, 201, 395 and 412. The judgement also calls for ‘appropriate punishment’ under 357-A Cr.P.C which is an order to pay compensation.
People of the Delhi gang-rape victim’s ancestral village in Ballia, UP lit candles and distributed sweets after hearing that a court has awarded death penalty to her attackers today.
Medawar Kalan village, which came into the spotlight after the brutal December 16 incident last year, has been struggling to cope with floods in recent days, but its residents were more anxious about the verdict in the case and were sitting glued to the TV sets since the morning.
Sound of drums reverberated through the village as soon as the news of the verdict flashed on tv screens. They also lit candles in the village temple to pay condolences to the girl as well as to thank their deity for the justice meted to her.
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said that the decision by the Delhi sessions court to give all four accused in the Delhi case the death sentence sent the correct message to all of Indian society. “Clear message to parents and teachers and community at large. Be responsible! Or be hung! And lose your life. Thanku for Justice Done!”, she tweeted shortly after the verdict.