M A I N   N E W S

Delhi’s shame
4 guilty of Dec 16 gang rape, murder
Acts premeditated, intention was to kill, says judge
Quantum of sentence today
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung/TNS

New Delhi, September 10
A fast-track court on Tuesday convicted four men of gang-raping and killing a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern on a moving bus in Delhi on December 16 last year, a case that caused nationwide outrage and led the government to bring in stringent anti-rape laws.

The quantum of sentence will be announced on Wednesday. The murder charge, for which the four men have been convicted, entails a maximum of death penalty and life term as the minimum punishment. All four had pleaded not guilty.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna found Mukesh, Pawan Gupta alias Kaalu, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar alias Thakur guilty under 11 sections of the IPC, including gang rape, unnatural offences, murder (of the girl), attempt to murder (of the girl’s male friend), abduction, dacoity and causing the disappearance of evidence. He accused the men of cold-bloodedly killing their "helpless victim".

With tears in her eyes and wearing a pink sari, the mother of the victim sat just a few feet from the four men, who stood against a wall in the crowded courtroom as Khanna read out the verdict. "I convict all of the accused. They have been found guilty of gang rape, unnatural offences, destruction of evidence... and for committing the murder of the helpless victim," he said.

As soon as the verdict was delivered, Pawan broke down while Vinay was in a state of shock. Mukesh was heard saying "that they would have to face the consequences for what they have done". The fourth convict Akshay seemed unaffected. The verdict capped a seven-month trial that was punctuated dramatically by the main accused Ram Singh, who is Mukesh’s brother, found hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail in March. The sixth accused, who is a juvenile and cannot be named as per the law, was on August 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years after it concluded that he was involved in rape and murder. The police said in the chargesheet the juvenile was the most brutal of the accused.

The defence counsel said they would appeal against the judgment in a higher court. “Although we respect the judgment, we are not happy with it. We will challenge it in the Delhi HC,” said Pawan’s lawyer, Sadashiv Gupta. Regarding the victim’s gangrape, Khanna said in his 237-page judgment, “If the accused had participated in the incident, then the question as to who committed the rape or who could not complete the act of rape becomes irrelevant for the conviction of gangrape. Hence, all accused are convicted under Section 376 (2) G (gang rape).”

The judgment also said the acts were done in a premeditated manner. “The nature of these acts suggests that none of them were impulsive. The act of the insertion of the rods (into the girl’s body) and the pulling out of internal organs after committing gang rape can in no manner be seen as an act done only to facilitate the commission of gang rape. Rather, this aspect makes the act of pulling out the internal organs of the prosecutrix to kill her, an intentional one… The act of moving the bus in a manner so that the victim comes under its wheels makes the acts of these accused as done with the intention of certainly resulting in her death,” read the judgment.

The verdict also mentioned that the rods inserted into the girl’s body caused 18 internal injuries to her organs. “They did this repeatedly and pulled out her internal organs even with their hands,” it said.

Mukesh’s lawyer, VK Anand said Mukesh was driving the bus at the time of the incident and was not involved. The judgment, however, said Mukesh’s argument he was only driving the bus makes him equally responsible in the crime. “He cannot escape his guilt by saying he was only driving the bus, while the others were brutally beating up the victims, committing unnatural sex and gangrape,” it said.

AP Singh, the lawyer representing Vinay and Akshay, told reporters outside the court that Vinay was at a musical programme at a district park when the incident took place. He also claimed Akshay was not in Delhi and had caught a train to Aurangabad on December 15, a day before the crime.

The verdict said the identity and presence of all the accused inside the bus at the time of the incident has been confirmed by DNA samples and scientific evidence.

The ‘cold-blooded’ murder

  • Dec 16, 2012: Ram Singh (now dead), Vinay, Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and the juvenile gang rape the girl in a bus after luring her and her male friend, who was also assaulted, on board the vehicle
  • The men repeatedly rape and torture the victim in the moving bus before dumping her and her friend, naked and semi-conscious, on the road
  • Dec 29: Girl dies at a Singapore hospital

The charges

Gang rape, murder, guilty of attempt to murder, unnatural offences, dacoity, destruction of evidence, conspiracy, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder

Court lauds Delhi cops

  • The fast track court praised the Delhi Police for its investigations into the case and observed that it was “professional and scientific”
  • While pronouncing the verdict in the case, Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said: “The investigation was thorough. The police should do similar work in other cases as well. The professional acumen of the Delhi Police in the way they investigated the case and made use of scientific tools is much appreciated”
  • After the court’s observations, the Delhi Police exulted in its success. Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi told reporters that the lessons learnt during the investigation of the case would be ‘disseminated among all officers to make future investigations of similar cases foolproof’





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