Defence lawyers after the sentencing. PRAVEEN KHANNA
Stressing on the need to send a strong deterrent message to curb the rise in gruesome crimes against women, a special court Friday sentenced all four convicts in the December 16 Delhi gangrape case to death.
The proceedings in the Saket court lasted barely two minutes as Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna announced the sentence in a room filled with lawyers, police officers and journalists. Hundreds of people waited outside.
But it sparked a display of contrasting emotions inside the court room as well as outside in a case that made global headlines and focused the spotlight on crimes against women.
“These are the times when gruesome crimes against women have become rampant and courts cannot turn a blind eye to the need to send a strong deterrent message to the perpetrators of such crimes,” Khanna said. “The increasing trend of crimes against women can be arrested only once the society realizes that there will be no tolerance from any form of deviance against women.”
“The convicts, namely, convict Akshay Kumar Singh alias Thakur, convict Mukesh, convict Vinay Sharma and convict Pawan Gupta alias Kaalu are sentenced to death for offence punishable under section 302 Indian Penal Code,” Khanna said, reading out an excerpt from his order.
The announcement was followed by a loud wail from Vinay Sharma.
“Judge sahib, yeh kya kiya (Judge sir, what have you done),” 20-year-old Vinay said. He and Pawan, 19, broke down in tears. The family of the 23-year-old victim a paramedical student who was gangraped and brutalised in a moving bus and succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital smiled through teary eyes and thanked the police, lawyers and the media.