Delhi Police on Thursday sought the maximum sentence for the five people convicted for the gang-rape of a 52-year-old Danish woman near the New Delhi railway station in 2014.
“The way the crime has been committed, it demands maximum punishment of imprisonment for remainder of life prescribed under the new law for the offence of gang-rape,” special public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told a city court.
The crime was committed with a foreigner and a message should be sent to the society that rule of law prevails in India and wrong-doers would be dealt with an iron hand, Shrivastava said.
He said that the offence had “caused a dent to the reputation of the country”.
Counsel Dinesh Sharma, who represented the convicts, sought leniency on the grounds that they were in their 20s and belonged to poor background.
Additional sessions judge, Ramesh Kumar II, after hearing the arguments on the quantum of sentence, reserved the order for Friday.
The judge had convicted Mahendra alias Ganja (27), Mohd Raja (23), Raju (24), Arjun (22) and Raju Chakka (23) 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.
Under the new law that came into force in 2013, the offence of gang-rape entails a minimum jail term of 20 years and a maximum of imprisonment till remainder of the natural life of convicts.
The law was amended to ensure more stringent punishment for those convicted of sexual offences.
Nine men, including three juveniles, were accused of abducting, raping and robbing the Danish woman at knifepoint in the night of January 14, 2014, after she asked for directions to her hotel in Paharganj. She was taken to a secluded placed, beaten up and raped.
One of the accused — Shyam Lal (56) — died in February in Tihar Jail and the three minors are facing proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board.