The five men convicted of abducting and gangraping a 52-year-old Danish woman in the capital in 2014 were awarded the maximum punishment — rigorous imprisonment till remainder of natural life — by a Delhi court Friday. The special fast track court held the “inhuman” and “brutal” act of the convicts had put a stigma on the nation’s reputation.
“On perusal of record… the manner in which the offence has been committed… is certainly inhuman… it was for the convicts to respect the lady, especially when she was a tourist… By doing this act, the convicts have levelled stigma on the face of the country,” said Additional Sessions Judge Ramesh Kumar.
The court awarded life imprisonment to convicts Mahender alias Ganja (25), Mohd Raja (25), Raju (23), Arjun (21) and Raju Chakka (30). The fast track court had earlier held the five guilty for offences under IPC sections 376 (D) (gang rape), 395 (dacoity), 366 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention).
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The court also took note that the woman had pretended she had AIDS to deter the men from sexually assaulting her. “She has stated in her evidence that she had also pleaded with the accused not to rape her as she was having AIDS. She has also stated that during that five hours the incident lasted, (the) accused were running back and forth from the place of incident sometime to buy glue for sniffing and to buy condoms… This evidence of victim clearly proves she must have raised alarm, which was overheard by eyewitness Shivji Singh,” said the court, relying upon the testimony of the victim.
Rejecting the defence counsel’s charge of “fabrication” under “media pressure”, the court held the “most vital evidence” to connect these men with the crime was the DNA report. The court noted there was no possibility of any manipulation in medical examination and DNA report prepared in Copenhagen in Denmark.
“Furthermore, it is very important to mention that as per request from Indian government, the victim lady was subjected to detail medical examination at Copenhagen and… expert from FSL (Rohini), has clearly stated that similarity has been observed in the report prepared at Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen and the report prepared by him,” said the court. “Judicial notice can be taken that there is no possibility of any manipulation in medical examination and DNA suggestion has been given by the defence in this regard also,” the court added.
The court said that when the woman had asked the men for direction, instead of helping her, they misled, abducted and gangraped her in a “brutal manner to satisfy their lust and rob her belongings”.
The court added, “… It has come on record that prosecution witness (Shivji) had seen the incident but he was under threat on point of knife by Arjun. Due to this, he could not intervene in the matter, but later when he reached his house and police approached him… he narrated the facts of the case to the police.”