On 16th December 2012, after 09 30 in the night, a gang of 6 men including , 4 youngsters, a 34 years old man and a 17 years old juvenile / minor boy cruelly gang-raped and caused the death of / murdered a 23 year old paramedical / physiotherapy student girl Ms.Jyoti Singh Pandey, in a moving bus in the India’s Capital city of Delhi.
The victim was given treatment in the ‘The Safdarjung Hospital’- Delhi.
In the hospital bed, the victim’s oral statement about the incident was recorded by a Sub-Divisional Magistrate in the presence of Deputy Commissioner of Police.
However, the victim died after being taken on 27th December 2012 to “Mount Elizabeth Hospital” in Singapore by air-ambulance for transplants of multiple organs on 29th December 2012.
The incident evoked a nationwide outrage from all men and women of India and Organizations.
The Government of India was forced to think of bringing stronger and quicker punishments to the rapists and men involved in crimes against women in India and formed an one man- committee of Justice Varma.
Justic Varma Committee submitted its report with recommendations of more severe punishments to the rapists in India.
However, the committee had not recommended capital punishment to the rapists in general, except in rarest of rare cases, involving murder of the victim.
On 31st August 2013, a juvenile / minor, whose name had not been revealed, involved in the crime was enquired at the “Juveniele Justice Board” and found guilty by the “Juvenile Court”, in the gang-rape/murder etc. and was awarded a punishment of 3 years confinement in “Juvenile Reform Board”. It is notable that 3 years’ punishment is the maximum punishment that can be awarded to a minor convict found guilty in any crime.
The 6th accused Ram Singh, the driver of the bus, had committed suicide in his prison cell on 11th March 2013.
The following 4 are the accused in the “Delhi-Gang-Rape-cum-Murder”, still alive:
- Mukesh -26 years old,
Vinay Sharma -20 years old,
Pawan Gupta-19 years old and
Akshay Singh Thakur -28 years old.
On enquiry by a ‘Special Fast Track’- court, in 130 hearings for the past 8 months, the all the above 4 accused have been found guilty of the following crimes:
- Attempt to murder, All the 4 accused attempted to kill the complainant, the victim’s male friend
- Unnatural offences, Gang-rape and for the unnatural sex with the victim and
- Killing the victim,
- Kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confining a person,
- Kidnapping in order to murder,
- Abducting to subject a person to grievous hurt and slavery,
- Abducting woman to cause her defilement,
- Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery and dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity
- Destruction of evidence.
However, all the 4 have been acquitted of the charge of murder in dacoity.
One of the 5 accused in the case, Ram Singh, 34 years old had been found dead in his prison cell after he committed suicide on 11th March 2013. The proceedings against the dead accused were abated. However, the dead accused Ram Singh also has been found guilty in all the above crimes along with the other 4 and he has also been convicted under the same sections for the same crimes.
The court will hear the arguments on the quantum of punishments for the convicted accused.
In view of the crimes committed by the accused who have been found guilty, they would get a minimum punishment of ‘imprisonment for life’ and a maximum punishment of hanging till death / the capital punishment.
Due to the magnitude of the merciless and cruel gang-rape and murder and the allied crimes committed by the accused in the case, people who are against the capital punishment/death penalty can never open their mouth.
In Indian judicial system, it has taken 8 months for a “Fast Track” court to find the accused guilty.
Even after the awarding of the punishments to the convicted/guilty accused persons, there would be appeals/clemency petitions/review in Supreme Court of India etc. and we will have to wait and see when they would get ‘final’ the punishment, whether ‘life sentence’ or ‘death sentence’.
Update of the Above Case/Judgement as on 22nd September 2013: In the above, most cruel and brutal- gang-rape and murder case of a 23 years old para medical girl student the sessions court /trial court has awarded capital punishment to all the 4 accused/convicts on 13th September 2013, as according to the trial court, the crimes committed by the 4 accused/convicts fall under the “rarest of rare” category.
However, the death penalty / capital punishment needs to be conferred by a higher court.
So, the the trial court after announcing the capital punishment has referred the case to the “Delhi High Court”.
The “Delhi High Court”-bench will hear the matter on 23rd September 2013, Monday,for confirmation of the capital punishment awarded to the convicted accused by the trial court.
Update of the Above Case/Judgement as on 23rd September 2013
As and when the case came for hearing on 23rd September 2013 before the Delhi High Court Bench of Jusitces Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani, the Special Public Prosecutor of the case submitted that the honourable High Court Bench could direct for production of the 4 convicted accused persons to know whether they would prefer appeals against the trail court’s verdict and granting of 30 days time for filing their appeal in the Delhi High Court..
And accordingly, the Delhi High Court Bench has directed the ‘Tihar Jail’ Authorities to produce all the following 4 convicted accused persons before the bench on 24th Septmeber 2013:
- Mukesh-26 years old,
- Akshay Thakur- 28 years old,
- Pawan Gupta – 19 years old and
- Vinay Sharma -20 years old..