Dec 16 gangrape: High Court begins hearing arguments on death reference

The counsel will continue arguments on November 6,after which day-to-day hearing will be held.

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Published: November 1, 2013 7:58:05 pm

The Delhi High Court on Friday commenced hearing final arguments in the trial court’s reference to it for confirmation of death sentence awarded to four convicts in December 16 gangrape case.

A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani heard prosecution’s argument on the reference case as well as the appeals filed by all four convicts Mukesh,Pawan,Akshya and Vinay in the case.

The trial court on September 13 had awarded death penalty to all the accused for raping the 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of December 16 last year.

Appearing for the Delhi Police,Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan briefed the court about the case and argued that the trial court was right in awarding death sentence to the convicts as there were enough evidence against them for their “brutal” act.

The lawyer said “the girl was raped brutally. She was also beaten up badly. Not only that in a grotesque and brutal manner,they had inserted an iron rod inside her private part… .”

Referring to the testimony of complainant,the victim’s male friend,the lawyer said the eye witness had also identified each of the accused during the identification parade.

He also claimed that the complainant had not given any contradictory statement before the police and the court during the trial and said “no question to contradict the prosecution witness’s statement was asked by the counsel for the accused before the trial court.”

The counsel will now continue his argument on November 6,after which day-to-day hearing will be held.

The court also rejected objections raised by convicts Vinay and Akshay’s counsel A P Singh to the court’s decision to hear the appeal on daily basis. Meanwhile,the counsel for convicts Mukesh and Pawan failed to turn up for the case and their relatives informed the court that the lawyer was busy in Supreme Court as he has filed a petition for transfer of the case.

Earlier,the bench had rejected these convicts’ plea for Hindi translation of documents and directed the registry to list for hearing on Friday.

The trial court,while awarding capital punishment to the convicts,had observed the case falls in the rarest of rare category as the crime was committed against the “defenceless” girl in a “beastly” and “hair-raising” manner and referred the case to high court for confirmation of the sentence.

The trial court has to refer each death penalty case to the high court for confirmation of punishment.

Prime accused Ram Singh (34) was found dead in his cell in Tihar Jail in March and proceedings against him were abated.

On August 31,the juvenile accused in the case was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home.

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