New Delhi: Two brothers were on Tuesday awarded death penalty by a Delhi court for brutally killing a man who had objected to their teasing his sister.
The court said it was a "rarest of rare" case in which the brothers initiated the crime. Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said that keeping in view the nature of the crime and the manner in which it was planned and committed and the conduct of convicts Sunil and Sudhir, they do not deserve any leniency.
"Certain category of perpetrators of crime who, if not removed from the circulation of the society, would destroy it and this act of convicts Sunil and Sudhir in brutally and publicly silencing the voice of a brother, who had dared to stand-up against them to protect the honour of his sister, has invited extreme indignation of the community and shocked the collective conscience of the society...," the court said.
The judge said crime against women has to be tackled with "all earnestness". "This battle of one half of the Indian population (women) is something that we cannot lose sight of and the courts of law cannot let the things pass in the name of compassion/ mercy," the court said.
"...Accordingly, they both be hanged by the neck till they are dead (subject to confirmation of High Court of Delhi)," the judge said while pronouncing the verdict.
The court also gave to life term to convicts Surender, Suresh, Raj Kumar and Sanjay and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each on them which would be given to Subhash`s family as compensation.
The incident took place on July 20, 2009, when some `Kanwariyas` (followers of Lord Shiva) were dancing on the road in Sultanpuri while residents of the area were watching them.
The 19-year-old girl was also watching the celebrations along with her mother when at 11:30 PM Sunil and Sudhir, who were local ruffians with several criminal cases pending against them, passed through the street in front of her house and made obscene gestures to her which were objected to by her brother and her mother, the police said.
The police said Subhash objected to the obscene behaviour of Sunil and Sudhir who left the place only to return after some time with four other accused Surender, Raj Kumar, Suresh and Sanjay. They all were armed with baseball bats, iron rod, empty liquor bottles and knife and chased Subhash and killed him.
The accused did not spare anybody who intervened to save the victim and injured Subhash`s mother, sister and their neighbour.
While sentencing the convicts, the court said offences against women are rising day-by-day which is a cause of concern.
"It takes more than laws to change people`s attitude about women. There is a need to change patriarchal mind-set which plagues the country. Women are vulnerable and unsafe everywhere and there is a sense of despair and disgust in the society.
"The worst thing one can do is to tolerate or turn a blind eye to sexual crime against women--be it verbal sexual harassment (eve-teasing), acid attack and horrific rapes," it said.
The court said it has become an every day story that those, including the family members, who object to eve-teasing or stand up for honour of a woman are killed.
It added people are scared to stand up for a woman due to fear of hooligans who are having a "free run" in the society.
The court, in its order, also appreciated the girl who was being eve teased by the convicts for her courage as she stood up alone in the legal battle to secure justice for her brother despite getting threats and opposition from her family.
"It was a lone battle for her. Not only she had to undergo the extreme psycho trauma of seeing her only brother dying before her eyes only because he stood-up for her but also when she appeared in the court pursuant to coercive process and was exposed to the proceedings of the court when she faced a most hostile defence. The spirit of this young girl, who bravely stood up against all her odds, is required to be saluted," the judge said.