Dec 16 gang rape convicts to be sentenced Friday

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) The sentences of the four men convicted for gang-raping a 23-year-old woman Dec 16, 2012 will be pronounced Friday by a fast track court here. The convicts face a maximum punishment of death penalty.

The prosecution demanded death penalty for the four during arguments before Additional Session Judge Yogesh Khanna the day before and said the crime fell in the category of the "rarest of rare" cases, while the defence pleaded for "mercy" and opportunity to "reform".

The four - Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur - were Tuesday found guilty on 11 counts, including gang rape, murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping.

The defence pleaded that the accused had no history of indulging in criminal activities, their families depended on them financially and they were young, so they be given a chance to reform.

Counsel for the convicts said the incident took place while they were under the influence of alcohol, affecting their judgment.

Additional Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan while seeking death penalty during arguments on the quantum of sentence told the court that the crime showed "the highest kind of barbaric behaviour of the convicts".

The prosecutor said the convicts should get the maximum sentence as they brutalised a helpless woman, even as she pleaded for her life.

"This is the most heinous crime one can commit on someone. The injuries caused to the victim were inhuman," he added.

"Her entire (internal) system was ripped open as if you rip open a fruit," the prosecutor said, referring to the wounds inflicted on the woman with a rod.

The prosecutor said the people of the country were watching this case and if the convicts were awarded a light punishment, "the public will lose faith in the judicial system".

He added that the act of the convicts to damage the intestines of victim was "intentional".

The court held Tuesday that the crime was "premeditated" and a "cold blooded murder".

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