Two years after a 19-year-old was abducted, gangraped and murdered in the capital, a sessions court on Wednesday sentenced the three men convicted of the offence to death.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat sent Rahul (26), Ravi (24) and Vinod (22) to the gallows observing that they “don’t deserve to be kept alive”. The court had convicted the trio on charges of kidnapping, rape, murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy on February 13.
“I have spent the last two years mindlessly running around police station and courts… but I believe that my daughter’s soul has found peace today,” the father of the victim, said after the verdict. He and his wife were present in the court when the sentence was pronounced.
On February 9, 2012, the 19-year-old girl was kidnapped by the three men when she was returning home from office with three women friends around 8.30 pm.
The men grabbed her and pulled her into a car. Three days later, her mutilated body was found near a mustard field in Rodai village in Rewari district of Haryana.
According to the disclosure statement of the convicts, they had decided to target the girl as she had turned down Ravi’s proposal of friendship.
“She was kidnapped near the bus stop, just a short distance from our home. They gave us her body on February 14 two years ago… since then, all I have done is wait for justice… for this day,” the father said.
According to the disclosure statement of the convicts, Vinod drove the car while Rahul raped the girl in the rear seat. They drove on the Jhajjar-Rewari route and stopped the car near mustard fields. The three then took turns to rape the girl. After the incident, the girl asked for some water. They gave her water and, fearing a police case, conspired to kill her.
The disclosure statement mentions that she was strangled with a cloth and hit on the head with a jack and a spanner. Her post-mortem report said the death was caused as a result of head injury and the body bore signs of severe assault and burn marks on private parts.
Counsels appearing on behalf of the convicts had prayed for leniency on the grounds that they were very young at the time of the offence and that there was every chance of their reformation.
Judge Bhat rejected the argument considering that there was no evidence to show that the trio repented their crime. “Nothing has been brought to my notice… to suggest that the convicts have any sense of remorse or guilt and can be reformed. In my opinion, the age of the convicts is the lone mitigating factor appearing on record in their favour,” the judge said.
“The perpetrators of crimes like rape and murder forfeit their right to live. Life imprisonment is highly inadequate in these cases and there is no alternative but to impose death sentence. These criminals are a menace to society and they don’t deserve to be kept alive… Given the increase in cases of rape and murder throughout the country, I feel that time has come when the killing of a victim by the rapist, even if it is only to avoid identification, should be viewed very seriously and the perpetrators should not be spared the gallows,” he said.
Police had apprehended Rahul on February 13, 2012, who then led them to his brother Ravi and friend Vinod. All three lived together at a rented flat in Palam.
After their arrest, the trio led the police to the body. Charges against the accused had been framed on May 26, 2012, and the matter was transferred from the sessions court to a fast-track court in January 2013.
Positive forensic reports and the recovery of the body after the arrests have been cited as the “clinching evidence” in the case.