New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Wednesday demanded stringent punishment for the four convicted persons accused of gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman on December 16, 2012, and said the punishment should set an example to prevent such heinous crimes in the future.
"There is no doubt that violence on women is increasing day-by-day. And those who commit such crimes feel that they can get away from it. We hope that they will give a stern judgment so that such heinous crimes are never committed. The punishment should set an example," she said.
"I personally feel that juvenile age should be decreased to 16. And the brutality with which the juvenile committed the crime, it shows that he was well aware of what he is doing at that age," she added.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Najma Heptullah said the punishment should create fear in the minds of those who indulge in such horrendous crimes.
"I wish it should be so stringent that it creates fear in the mind of people. These incidents are continuously happening, but culprits were not punished. The culprit will be punished on the basis of his crime not age," she said.
"We should give them such punishments after which no one dares to do anything. People come out of jail after bearing small punishments. It is very unfortunate in our country that people talk about human rights but they don`t care about the human right of the victims," she added.
A Delhi Court today reserved for Friday its order on quantum of punishment to be awarded to the four convicts in December 16 gang-rape and murder case of a 23-year-old woman.
The court earlier heard the arguments to pronounce the quantum of sentence against the four convicts. The prosecution has sought the maximum penalty of death for the convicts.
A fast-track court, which had earlier on Tuesday convicted the four by relying on the victim`s dying declaration and forensic evidence, described the crime as `premeditated` and `brutal` act.
While pronouncing the order, the judge said the accused were found guilty of gang-rape, unnatural offences, destruction of evidence and "for committing the murder of the helpless victim."
Of the total six accused, the prime conspirator - Ram Singh - had killed himself in Tihar Jail in March this year, while a minor accused was recently sentenced to serve three years in a special home by the Juvenile Justice Board.
The fast-track held the four remaining accused - Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan and Mukesh - guilty of being involved in the gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old woman.
The charges in the instant case were framed on February 2 during which the court also invoked Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against them for abducting the girl with intention of committing "illicit intercourse".
It had in its order described the juvenile as an associate of the adult accused, who committed gang rape in furtherance of the conspiracy and "common intention".
The four have been tried for offences under Section 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 365 ( kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), and 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity) of the IPC.
The 23-year-old paramedical student was raped, beaten and tortured by the six men on a moving bus on the outskirts of outer Delhi. The victim died of internal injuries in a Singapore hospital two weeks later.