Four years after a 20-year-old student of the Delhi University was gangraped in a moving car in Dhaula Kuan,a city court sentenced the lone man arrested to rigorous imprisonment for 14 years.
Noting that the beastly act of gangrape deserves no leniency,the court also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on convict Ajit Singh Katiyar.
In a 71-page verdict,the court took stern note of the severity of the incident and its effect on the victim. The act of gangrape on a meek victim is the gravest of all offences. It leaves such a scar on the young victim’s mind that it is difficult to erase the stigma for the rest of her life, observed Additional Sessions Judge N K Gupta while delivering the sentence.
Dismissing the defence counsel’s plea for clemency on the ground that the accused belongs to a poor family,Gupta said: In cases like these,one must keep in mind the condition and status of the victim rather than that of the accused. The incident has ruined the victim’s personal life and her career.
The girl,who was a 20-year-old student at the time,was forced to quit her work and studies in the Capital and go back home,he said. A resident of Mizoram,she was pursuing a correspondence course from the Delhi University and worked in a Gurgaon-based call centre.
The court had relied mainly on the unequivocal and consistent statement of the victim to convict and sentence Katiyar. The victim had identified Katiyar during a test identification parade in Tihar jail and later in the courtroom.
Gupta dismissed the prosecution’s plea of awarding the fine as compensation to the victim,saying that offering money as compensation will be an insult in view of the trauma she has undergone.
Citing various apex court judgments that advocated stern punishment for rape,the court observed that it was imperative in the given circumstances that the convict is shown no leniency.
Katiyar,along with three others who are still at large,had abducted the victim from near a dhaba in Dhaula Kuan around 2.15 am on May 8,2005. The girl had gone to the eatery to buy food with a friend. The men had tried to pull in both women in the Santro they were in. But they could only drag in the one and raped her six times in the moving car. Later,they threw her out of the car near a gurdwara.