Calling the convicts “psychopaths” who should be kept away from society, a Delhi court on Monday sentenced all five convicts in the 2010 Dhaula Kuan gangrape case to life in prison.
“The convicts are psychopaths, having no regard for the honour and dignity of women in the society and thus are a threat to the whole society. It is the demand of justice that they be kept away from the society as long as possible,” additional sessions judge Virender Bhatt said in his judgement.
The court called the rapes committed by the five convicts — Usman, Shamshad, Shahid, Iqbal and Kamruddin — “grave” and “odious”.
The five, who were all arrested in December 2010, get life imprisonment for the offence of gangrape, seven years of rigorous imprisonment for abduction and five years rigorous imprisonment for criminal intimidation.
The court has also imposed Rs 50,000 fine on each of the convicts. The money will go to the victim, who was a 30-year-old Mizo working for a BPO in 2010.
The court observed that it cannot ignore “society’s expectation” in punishing rape cases. “The society itself looks upon this crime with utmost indignation and expects the perpetrators to be dealt with sternly,” the judge said.
“The fact that the convicts abducted the victim in a jiffy after she had been dropped by the office cab demonstrates that the convicts were on a prowl looking for a prey to satiate their sexual lust. It appears that the convicts were wandering upon Delhi roads like beasts,” the judge said.
The court said the rape was a “serious blow” to the “honour”, “dignity” and “womanhood” of the victim, who has to “live with the scars” throughout her “shattered life”.
The court rejected the defence counsel’s plea for lenient sentencing, considering the poor economic background of the convicts’ family.
But Bhat said, “It was for them to keep their families and economic status in mind at the time (of the rapes) and not resort to any such criminal activity.”
One convict faints, two sob, two sit stunned
Twenty minutes after the fast-track court gave its judgment, 29- year-old convict Shahid broke down and fainted inside the court.
Shahid first requested the judge if he could sit but fainted within minutes of the judgment. The court tried to wake him but efforts failed. Four police personnel had to carry Shahid on their shoulders for medical examination.
Emotion then ran high outside court premises, where the convict’s family were seated. When they saw Shahid being carried away, the family started cursing the investigation officer and exchanged heated words with the police. After which, the families refused to talk to the media.
“They have killed our son. Now without him what is left in our lives, they have ruined us,” Mujahid, a relation of Shahid, shouted before being pushed back by policemen.
After the incident there was silence inside the court, but within minutes, Kamruddin and another convict Shamshad started crying while Usman and Iqbal sat in a state of shock. The families who waited outside the court premises to talk to the convicts were left disappointed when the police immediately took them into the police vehicle amidst heavy security. “We cannot even talk to them. No one can understand our trauma and pain,” said a family member of Usman.