The die was cast for four men, whose merciless gang rape of a young woman in Delhi last December resulted in her death, when a fast-track court Friday sentenced them to death, calling it one of the ‘rarest of rare cases’. The four men – Mukesh (26), Pawan Gupta (19), Vinay Sharma (20) and Akshay Thakur (28)- were convicted on Tuesday in the case that shook the nation and made world headlines.
Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna on Friday said it is the ‘rarest of the rare case’ and has ‘shocked the collective conscience of the nation’. The judge said that ‘society has no tolerance for such crime’ and the court ‘cannot turn a blind eye to such gruesome crime.’
The judge sentenced the four to death for murdering the 23-year-old physiotherapist. The judge Wednesday had found the four guilty on 13 counts, including murder, gang rape and dacoity.
As soon as the judge read out the sentence, Vinay Sharma fell down and started crying ‘Sir ji, Sir ji (please sir, please sir)’ addressing the judge. But soon the police took all the accused away. When asked for his reaction, Additional Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan said: ‘All I can say is that I have done my job. I have never seen brutality like this.’
He added that now the judgement will go to the Delhi High Court for the confirmation and the process take maximum 30 days. Mukesh’s lawyer V.K. Anand said: ‘We will appeal in the high court. This did not deserve death sentence.’
After the judgement was announced, there was loud cheering outside the District Court, Saket, where hundreds of people had gathered since noon.
The 23-year-old woman was brutally gang raped on a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle — without clothes — on the cold December night.
The woman died of her grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail while a juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum under the juvenile law.
Delhi Gang Rape Timeline
Dec 16: A 23-year-old physiotherapy student is brutally raped in a bus in Delhi. Victim admitted to Safdarjung Hospital by the police.
Dec 17: Bus driver Ram Singh and two others arrested.
Dec 18: Public sentiment boils over leading to huge demonstrations as protesters clash with police at various places. Fourth accused arrested.
Dec 19: Doctors treating the girl comment about her unstable condition though she manages to communicate with docs by writing.
Dec 20: Students of various universities protest outside CM Sheila Dixit’s residence
Dec 21: The fifth accused, a juvenile is arrested and one of the culprits is identified by the victim’s male friend in Tihar. Delhi Police starts search operation in Haryana and Bihar for another accused. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital chairman offers victim free intestinal transplant, an offer which is considered a publicity stunt by many since the victim’s not stable enough for one
Dec 23: Delhi High Court sets up fast track court
Dec 24: PM Manmohan Singh requests people to keep calm and suffers a major faux paus as he’s heard off-camera asking people Thik Hai?
Dec 26: Government decides to fly victim to Singapore for further treatment which raises questions about whether she would survive the journey and why she wasn’t taken to a better facility in Delhi like AIIMS which is just around the corner.
Dec 27: She’s airlifted to Singapore
Dec 29: She succumbs to her injuries at 4:45 AM
Dec 30: Her body is flown back to Delhi
Jan 1: Special task-force to deal with women’s safety in Delhi icreated
Jan 3: A case of rape, murder, kidnapping, destruction of evidence, and attempted murder on the male victim is filed against all the five accused in the case.
Jan 5: Her friend gives an interview to Zee News which documents their ordeal including public and police apathy to their plight
Jan 9: The accused demand legal representation; lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma fights their case
Jan 10: Sharma declares victims were responsible for their predicament.
Jan 28: The Juvenile Justice Board declares that one of the six accused is a minor despite no strong evidence to suggest it. Age-testing is ruled out.
Feb 3: The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, with suggestions from the Verma Committee Report introduced.
Feb 5: The trial starts
March 11: The main accused, Ram Singh is found hanging in his jail cell that he shared with two other accused.
April 4: One of the accused claims Tihar guards harassing him
April 11: Vinay’s counsel claims two of the accused were not present on the bus
May 1: Defence harasses male friend by claiming he’s a womaniser
May 10: Vinay and Akshay’s advocate AP Singh asks for male friend to undergo polygraph test
June 4: Juvenile accused turns 18 according to school certificate
July 11: Juvenile board defers judgement till July 25 to decide whether to try the minor in the case as an adult or a minor.
July 18: Supreme Court refuses to reduce the juvenile age to 16
August 31: Juvenile found guilty of rape and murder, sentenced to three years in a reform home.
September 9: Court finds other four accused guilty of rape and murder.
September 10: Delhi gang rape convicts to be sentenced on Friday.
September 13: Death penalty for all four involved in the attack
With inputs from IANS