Observing that they committed the offence in “an extremely demonic and barbaric manner so as to arouse intense and extreme indignation of society”, a Delhi court sentenced two men convicted of raping a minor girl in East Delhi to 20 years in prison.
As per court records, in 2013, the two men — Manoj Shah and Pradeep Kumar — lured the girl while she was playing outside her house and raped her. They then strangulated the girl and fled thinking she had died. The girl was, however, rescued from Manoj’s home after a neighbour heard her crying, over 40 hours after she went missing. According to police, the convicts had inserted foreign objects into her private parts.
Additional Sessions Judge Naresh Kumar Malhotra observed, “Offence in the present case has been committed in a extremely demonic and barbaric manner so as to arouse intense and extreme indignation of society” and that there was “demonstration of exceptional depravity and extreme brutality, extreme misery inflicted upon the prosecutrix. The pain which the victim had undergone is beyond imagination”.
He also awarded Rs 11 lakh in compensation to the victim saying “injuries suffered by the victim cannot be quantified in monetary terms”. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 31,500 each on both the convicts.
Manoj and Pradeep were convicted under Sections 376 (D), 376 (2) (i), 363, 342, 201, 307 and 34 of the IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act.
Senior Advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the survivor, said he will appeal against the order in the High Court and seek life imprisonment for the two convicts. C S Tyagi, counsel for Pradeep, said that he will challenge the judgment.
On the last date of hearing, Manoj had assaulted journalists and slapped a female journalist when he was taken out of the courtroom. On Thursday, he was produced before the ASJ, with his hands and legs bound with chains.
The ASJ also asked Manoj if he wanted to make a statement, to which the convict said: “I don’t want to say anything.” Pradeep, too, did not make any statement.
Additional Public Prosecutor S K Raghuvanshi asked the court for life sentence. Phoolka told the court, “The incident has happened in the most brutal manner. There is no remorse. Pradeep delayed the trial by giving a false certificate.” The amicus curiae in the case, R S Juneja, who appeared for Manoj, said, “Reformative theory is very popular. The man is to be given a chance to reform himself…”
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