Delhi Court upholds Life Imprisonment to 5 for raping Danish woman in 2014

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Facts

The Delhi High Court on 16th April upheld life imprisonment given to five convicts for raping a 52-year–Old Danish woman in Delhi in 2014.

The Danish woman came to Delhi on January 1, 2014. She then went to Agra and returned to the capital on 13th of the same month.

On losing her way to her Paharganj hotel, she sought directions from one accused. The men, all vagabonds, then led her to a secluded spot near the Divisional Railway Officer’s Club and raped her at knifepoint.

One of the accused died in Tihar jail. The nine convicts include Arjun (23), Raju alias Chhakka(24), Mahendra alias Ganja(28), Raju alias Balaji(25), and three minors(whose proceedings are handled by Juvenile Justice Board). Another accused Shyam Lal had died in Tihar jail in Feb 2016.

Bench

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta said the testimony of the victim and the DNA report, which was a clinching piece of evidence, have nailed the guilt of the convicts.

Court proceedings

The court rejected the argument of the convicts that the prosecution had manipulated the evidence under media pressure. It said the DNA profile connected the convicts with the crime and there was also a similarity in the forensic report sent by the Danish authorities and the DNA report prepared in India.

if the accused’s DNA has been found on the top which the victim was wearing at the time of the incident, it is for the accused to explain how it reached there”, it pointed out.

Bench pulls up investigating officer for not doing a job properly. While hearing the case, the bench pulled up the investigating officer for a botched – up the inquiry.

The High Court, meanwhile, rejected the testimony of an eyewitness given in the trial court, claiming to have seen the accused persons committing the crime with the victim, saying he could not be accepted as a natural witness.

The convicts were charged under Sections 376(D)(gang rape), 395(dacoity), 366(kidnapping), 342(wrongful confinement), 506(criminal intimidation) and 3 (common intention) of the IPC.

Announcing the sentenced in 2016, the trial court had called their crime ‘inhumane’ and ‘brutal’, which harmed the reputation of the country

Judgment

The HC dismissed the convicts’ plea challenging the 2016 judgment of a trial court, saying the DNA report confirmed their guilt. “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,” said a bench of justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta

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