Two years after a 52-year-old Danish tourist was raped at knife-point near the New Delhi railway station, five men were held guilty of gangrape, kidnapping and dacoity by a city court Monday.
Nine men had been accused of attacking the woman, who had reportedly lost her way and was asking for directions. Three of the accused are juveniles while one died during trial.
Additional Sessions Judge Ramesh Kumar convicted Mahender alias Ganja (27), Mohd Raja (23), Raju (24), Arjun (22) and Raju Chakka (23), who all were present in the court. They were held guilty for offences under sections 376 (D) (gangrape), 395 (dacoity), 366 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
The sixth accused, Shyam Lal (56), died in February this year and proceedings against him were abated. Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava, in his arguments, had told the court that DNA evidence from semen samples found at the crime scene had proved the guilt of the accused persons.
The court will now hear arguments on sentencing in the case on June 9. After the amendment in the IPC in 2013, the punishment for gangrape is now a minimum of 20 years while the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.
According to the prosecution, the men had robbed and gangraped the Danish tourist at knife-point on the night of January 14, 2014, after leading her to a secluded spot close to the Divisional Railway Officers’ Club.
The woman had come to India on January 1, 2014, and had stayed in Delhi for a couple of days before leaving for Agra. After visiting several places, she returned to the capital on January 13, 2014 and stayed at a hotel in Paharganj. The next day, she lost her way while returning to the hotel and had asked one of the accused for directions. The men then waylaid and gangraped her.
Before the order was pronounced, legal aid counsel Dinesh Sharma – who was defending the convicts – said he had approached the high court with a plea against an order issued on April 22, which had refused permission to call witnesses regarding certain medical evidence. The ASJ, however, observed that there had been no stay from the high court, and the court was “not barred from passing the judgment”.
The case came up for hearing before a vacation bench of the high court Monday afternoon, which dismissed the plea as the trial court judgment had already been pronounced. “The high court has given us liberty to raise this issue in appeal and we will do so,” said Sharma.