Dec. 16 gang-rape case: Women politicos welcome Delhi Court verdict

New Delhi, Sep 10 (ANI): Expressing her delight with a Delhi Court's verdict to convict the remaining four persons in December 16 gang-rape and murder case of 23-year-old woman, Congress leader Ambika Soni on Tuesday said the punishment must be exemplary so that the message goes strongly that women needs to be respected.

"Such cases should be fast tracked and I am glad that all have been found guilty. Punishment must be exemplary so that message goes strongly that women needs to be respected," she said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat echoing similar sentiments said the justice should be done quickly in the December 16 gang-rape case.

"This is was an open and shut case. The court has taken a long time. One of the accused took his own life in jail. The case need not have taken so long. We would like to make it very clear that the justice should be done quickly," she said.

Meanwhile, former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi said the guilty deserve death penalty.

"I demand the severest punishment. This is a beastly crime. The punishment should be proportionate to the crime. It is a crime against society. It is a crime against humanity. The police did an excellent job. This is a case study. This is how investigations cab be effectively done. The last thing is the severity of the punishment," she added.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told media in Mumbai that a death sentence was assured, given that the law had been strengthened.

"We have strengthened the law. Death penalty is assured in this case", he said.

A fast-track court in Delhi on Tuesday pronounced all the remaining four accused guilty for the brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced tomorrow following arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence.

Of the total six accused, the prime conspirator - Ram Singh - had killed himself in Tihar Jail in March this year, while a minor accused was recently sentenced to serve three years in a special home by the Juvenile Justice Board.

The fast-track held the four remaining accused - Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan and Mukesh - guilty of being involved in the gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old woman.

The victim's parents had earlier said that the accused should be given the death penalty.

"They should be only given the death sentence so that it sends out a strong message to the people and nobody dares to commit such a barbaric crime in the future," said the victim's father.

"If they do not get death sentence, my daughter would not get justice, and in the days to come, this crime will take dangerous form," he added.

The charges in the instant case were framed on February 2 during which the court also invoked Section 366 of the Indian penal Code (IPC) against them for abducting the girl with intention of committing "illicit intercourse".

It had in its order described the juvenile as an associate of the adult accused, who committed gang rape in furtherance of the conspiracy and "common intention".

The four have been tried for offences under section 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 365 ( kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), and 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity) of the IPC.

The 23-year-old paramedical student was raped, beaten and tortured by the six men on a moving bus on the outskirts of Outer Delhi. The victim died of internal injuries in a Singapore hospital two weeks later. (ANI)