Four death row convicts in the 16 December gangrape and murder case were on Wednesday awarded 10-year rigorous imprisonment in a separate robbery case by a Delhi court, which said they do not deserve any leniency.
The court awarded the jail term to Akshay Kumar Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma for the offences under various sections of the IPC, including sections 395 (dacoity) and 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing that it was obtained by dacoity).
It also imposed a fine of Rs 1.01 lakh each on the four convicts who were present in the court at the time of pronouncement of the order on sentence.
“Given the nature of the offences committed by the convicts and the ramifications of the incident with the public at large, I do not agree with the submissions of the counsel for the convicts that they should be afforded any leniency be it on account of their age, their economic and social backgrounds or their family situations,” Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh said.
During the hearing, additional public prosecutor Jitender Sharma sought stringent punishment for the convicts saying the offences committed by them were grave in nature.
“Such offences shake the confidence and trust of people on public transportation. The offenders should be imposed the maximum punishment prescribed under law in order to ensure that just punishment is meted out,” he said.
Advocate AP Singh, appearing for all the convicts, said they were the sole bread earners of their family and sought leniency from the court. He further said the convicts should be given a chance to reform themselves.
Six persons, including a juvenile, had beaten up and robbed carpenter Ram Adhar before raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on 16 December, 2012. The victim had died in a Singapore hospital on 29 December, 2012.
ukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by trial court in the gangrape and murder case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court.
Accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on 11 March, 2013. The juvenile was facing proceedings in the gangrape, murder and robbery case before Juvenile Justice Board which sentenced him to three years detention in reformation home. Proceedings against Ram Singh were abated following his death.
The court had on 15 July, 2013 framed charges against the four accused after they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
Apart from dacoity and kidnapping, the court had also framed charges against them for the offences punishable under sections 342 (wrongfully confining any person), 394 (person voluntarily causing hurt in committing or attempting to commit robbery), 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing that it was obtained by dacoity) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
The court had on 27 August convicted them under all the charges framed against them.
The court had said “It is alleged that on December 16, 2012 at about 8.45 pm at Munirka bus stand or road leading towards IIT flyover, you all (Akshay, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay) in furtherance of your common intention along with one Ram Singh (since deceased) and one (juvenile)…kidnapped or abducted Ram Adhar (carpenter) with intent to cause Ram Adhar to be secretly and wrongfully confined and you all thereby committed an offence punishable under section 365/34 IPC and within the cognisance of this court.”
The police, in its 15-page charge sheet filed on 15 March, 2013 in the robbery case, had alleged that bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay, along with the juvenile, had snatched 35-year-old carpenter’s mobile phone and Rs 1,500 after luring him into the bus.