A special fast-track court on Tuesday sentenced rape convict and former Uber cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav to life imprisonment for the rest of his “naturallife” after observing that he had committed a “heinous offence not only against the rape survivor” but “also against the society at large”.
Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja, who had earlier held Yadav guilty on charges of rape and endangering the life of a 25-year-old woman executive in December last year, sentenced him to rigorous life imprisonment. The judge said that Yadav’s act “demands imposition of most severe punishment” that “rebuilds public confidence in the efficacy of law”, adding that offenders like him should be dealt with an “iron hand”.
“There can be no doubt that the convict, in the present case, committed the above stated heinous crime, not only against the rape survivor in this case, but also against the society at large. He endangered the life of the victim while committing rape upon her and his act demands imposition of most severe punishment so that it acts as a deterrent and rebuilds public confidence in the efficacy of law,” said ASJ Baweja.
“The sentence in this case, must, therefore, serve as a step towards the effort to put an end to commission of such crimes against women in our country. Every women needs to feel secure in her motherland, which necessarily demands dealing with such offenders with an iron hand,” the court added.
The judge also awarded 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment on charges of abduction and seven years’ rigorous imprisonment on charges of criminal intimidation. All of Yadav’s sentences will run concurrently.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 21,000 on Yadav, which will be given to the complainant as compensation. The court also directed the Delhi Legal Services Authority to pay “adequate compensation” to the rape survivor.
Earlier, during the proceedings, the prosecution had sought life imprisonment for Yadav and submitted to the court that his act deserved no leniency.
“Collective conscience of the society should be kept in the court’s mind while awarding the sentence. The manner in which he committed the heinous crime and the way he executed the same, shows there is no room for leniency. A message should go to the society, so that the punishment acts as a deterrent,” said Special Prosecutor Atul Srivastava.
However, the defence counsel had sought leniency for Yadav and argued that life imprisonment would be “worse than awarding death sentence”.
“His wife and his children are dependent on him financially. Their suffering should be kept in mind… awarding imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life is worse than awarding of death sentence. He should be awarded a minimum of ten years’ imprisonment,” argued advocate D K Mishra.