Delhi gang-rape case: Verdict politically motivated, says defence counsel

New Delhi, Sept. 10 (ANI): Expressing disappointment over the conviction of four accused in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case, their defence counsel on Tuesday said he would challenge the fast track court verdict in a higher court.

"We will challenge the decision in the higher court," defence lawyer AP Singh told media outside the Saket District Court complex, where the verdict was delivered.

"We were hoping this kind of judgement would not be delivered... Vinay Sharma wasn't present in the bus during the incident... Akshay Kumar Singh wasn't in Delhi either... This is not a fair trial... pronounced guilty even though they were not present at the scene of crime," he said.

Singh's reaction came after the fast-track court had 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)

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