Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor
New Delhi: The much-awaited order in the barbaric December 16 Delhi gang-rape case of the 23-year-old paramedic student was pronounced on Friday. Death sentence was awarded to the four convicts, Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20), as a fast-track court here said that the crime against the 23-year-old falls in the rare of the rarest cases.
The sentencing was given under the Section 302 as the court said that the victim died due to the injuries inflicted by the convicts. Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said, “Accordingly, the convicts be hanged by neck till they are dead.”
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It was a sigh of relief for the victim’s family with the sentencing as they were demanding nothing less than gallows for all the accused. Earlier, the family had earlier expressed dissatisfaction as the juvenile accused in the case was sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home by the Juvenile Justice Board.
Though all the accused had earlier already begged for mercy before Yogesh Khanna, who had held them guilty of gangrape, the victim’s family was adamant in demanding death for the convicts.
The victim’s father talking to Zee News described the verdict as satisfactory. He said, “Justice has been done. I am very happy today.”
The victim`s mother after the verdict said, "Our fight is not over. We will always stand with the people in their fight against crimes against women."
However, the defence lawyer said that he is not satisfied with the verdict and will consider appealing in a higher court. According to sources, the convicts broke down in the courtroom after hearing their fate.
As the court was set to hand down sentences to the four convicts in the gang-rape case, the mother of one of the accused, Vinay Sharma, pleaded for leniency for her son. “They are hard workers. Not one complaint against them. The judge should give them a second chance to reform themselves. Even God gives every person a second chance,” she was quoted as saying by a news agency.
On September 10, all the accused were held guilty on all counts including gangrape, murder, unnatural offence, dacoity, kidnapping and destruction of evidence.
One of the prime accused in the case Ram Singh committed suicide in his Tihar Jail cell on March 11 after a fast-track court charged the accused with murder, gang-rape and other offences.
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Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde welcomed awarding of death sentence to the four convicts and credited his government for the tough anti-rape laws brought in after the incident. Shinde said that justice has been done to the family of the victim. He added the judgement will send out a loud message.
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There were celebrations among the anti-rape protesters who gather outside the Saket court complex after the death sentence was awarded to the accused.