NEW DELHI: Two years after a 52-year-old Danish tourist was abducted, gang-raped and robbed in the capital, a Delhi court on Monday held five men guilty of the crime.
“All accused are held guilty for all offences,” additional sessions judge Ramesh Kumar II said.
As the court pronounced the verdict, the convicts -- Mahendra alias Ganja (27), Mohd Raja (23), Raju (24), Arjun (22), Raju Chakka (23) – barely showed any emotion.
They were convicted under sections 376 (D) (gang rape), 395 (dacoity), 366 (abducting woman), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence to be given to the convicts on June 9.
Nine people, including three juveniles, allegedly abducted, raped and robbed the 52-year-old Danish woman at knifepoint near the New Delhi railway station on the night of January 14, 2014 after she asked for directions to her hotel in Paharganj. She was taken to a secluded placed and raped.
One of the accused — Shyam Lal (56) — died in February in Tihar Jail while the three minors are facing proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board.
Sexual violence against women has been a problem in India, particularly in Delhi. Parliament amended the law to toughen jail sentences for rapists and overhauled policing procedures in the wake of the December 16 gang rape of a student on a moving bus in 2012. She later died in a hospital in Singapore, triggering large scale protests.
The prosecution had examined 27 witnesses to prove their case against the accused did not lead any evidence. But they denied the charges, contending that a day prior to the incident they had hired a prostitute and had physical relations with her.
A defence counsel pointed out that his plea against the trial court’s order dismissing a petition seeking to examine some doctors as witnesses on the potency issue of accused Shyam Lal was pending before the Delhi HC. But the judge went ahead with the pronouncement, saying there was no stay on the proceedings.