Delhi HC upholds life term to 5 in Danish woman rape case
The Delhi High Court on Monday upheld the sentence of life imprisonment till death to five convicts for raping a 52-year-old female Danish tourist in the Capital in 2014.
The court dismissed the appeal of the convicts, challenging their conviction and jail term awarded by a trial court in 2016.
The court observed that most important scientific evidence- the DNA report- has proven their guilt.
The court, however, took a serious view over the lapse of the investigating officer (IO) in not preparing a proper site-plan of the place of the crime, saying this was very important as it is very rare that there are witnesses to such crimes other than the victim.
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta noted that the foreigner was raped for five-hours and said if she was raped in a secluded area among the bushes, the IO has to satisfy himself by standing at the mud hill of the construction area to see if the crime spot was visible, and this basic exercise of reconstructing the crime scene was not done.
The trial court had awarded the maximum punishment while making it clear that rigorous imprisonment for life means jail till remainder of natural life of the convicts - Mahender alias Ganja (25), Mohd Raja (23), Raju (23), Arjun (21) and Raju Chakka (30).
The court had also imposed a fine of Rs 81,000 each on Raju and Raju Chakka, Rs 91,000 each on Mahender and Mohd Raja and Rs 1,01,000 on Arjun respectively.
"In view of the victim's evidence, corroborated by the DNA report, this court is satisfied that the conclusion of the trial court on the guilt of the accused is correct. Accordingly, the appeals are dismissed," the bench said.
Carelessness of the IO is seen in undertaking the investigation of the case, it said.
During the hearing, advocate Amit Chadha, appearing for the Delhi Police, said the DNA of all the accused had matched with the samples taken from other articles belonging to the victim in Copenhagen and India, and the woman was examined in the trial court over 18 months after the incident, so some indulgence must be granted.
The court rejected the contention of the counsel for the convicts that the prosecution had manipulated the evidence under media pressure and said the DNA profile connected the convicts with the crime, and there was also a similarity in the forensic report sent by Denmark authorities with the report prepared in India.