Three men have been awarded death penalty by a Delhi court for brutally murdering three family members, including a child, with a motive to rob their house nearly a decade ago.
The court said it was a "rarest of rare" case as the three murders were committed in "extremely brutal, diabolical, revolting and dastardly" manner and they have shocked the collective conscience of the society.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau awarded capital punishment to Uttar Pradesh residents Surender, 32, Vijay Pal, 27, and Virender, 33, and imposed a fine of Rs 1.1 lakh on each of them. The court said out of the fine amount, Rs three lakh be given to family of the victims.
"This act of the convicts in brutally killing the three members of a family including an aged woman and a child, has invited extreme indignation of the community and shocked the collective conscience of the society whose expectation from the authority... is to inflict the death sentence which is only natural and logical.
"This court cannot ignore the loud cry for justice by the society in this case involving heinous crime of murder," the court said.
According to police, the brutal killings took place in a house in Rohini when the three accused murdered 54-year-old Mridula Kishore, her 28-year-old son Rajesh Kishore and her nine-year-old grandson Ankit.
The accused were known to the family as Surender belonged to Mridula's village and the other two men were his relatives.
On the afternoon of February 5, 2004, the three accused went to the victims' house and had lunch there. Thereafter, they killed the victims by slashing their necks and strangulating them, the police said.
At the time of the incident, Rajesh was sleeping in his room and the minor had just came from school.
After murdering them, the accused took away jewellery and Rs one lakh cash from the house.
When the other family members came home in the evening, they found Mridula lying in a pool of blood in her room, while Rajesh and the child were lying in two different rooms with injury marks on their necks
The victims were rushed to the hospital where they were declared dead by the doctors.
During investigation, Mridula's husband suspected Surender for the offence as on the day of incident the accused had come to their house. The trio were later on arrested.
The court noted that due to the trauma, the minor's father became mentally disturbed and has been undergoing treatment at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.
The family also had to sell their house as they were boycotted by the neighbours after the incident.
Refusing to show any mercy to the trio, the judge said, "Not once did their hands shake when they brutally slashed the throat of a harmless child. Not once their conscious pricked when they slit the throat of a young boy in sleep.
"Not once did their hands shiver when they strangulated a woman who chose them over her family as she did not attend the call of her husband only because she was cooking meals for these convicts."
The court said it was a case of multiple killings of three persons of a family and as the circumstances are special, it falls in the category of rarest of rare.
It said the enormity of the crime is such that it had destroyed three generations of a family at one go and a happy family lost to the treachery of those whom they considered their own.
"It is this act of treachery played by the convicts which leads me to conclude that they are beyond reformation," the judge said.
The judge observed courts cannot ignore the conditions prevailing in the country where the law and order situation has deteriorated and worsened in the recent past.
"Young persons are robbing innocent victims by putting them in fear of death with indiscriminate use of dangerous weapons on them whether or not they offer any resistance, thereby spreading terror in the society and adversely affecting the faith of people in the system," the court said.