A Delhi court on Wednesday sent four convicts of the December 16 gangrape case to jail for 10-years for a related dacoity conviction for robbing a bus on the same night.
“The incident shakes the confidence of the public that buses plying on the road are a safe and secure mode of transport."
Additional Sessions judge Reetesh Singh on August 27 convicted the four for dacoity, kidnapping, wrongfully confining a person, voluntarily causing hurt in committing or attempting to commit robbery, dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing it was obtained by dacoity and common intention under the Indian Penal Code.
The four gang-rape convicts -- Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh and Pawan Gupta -- were tried for beating up and robbing carpenter Ram Adhar, before they raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapist in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012.
The court observed that ramifications of the incident with the public at large did not not allow it to show any leniency on account of their age, their economic-social backgrounds and their family situation.
The court on Wednesday sentenced then to undergo a rigorous imprisonment of ten years and slapped them with a fine of Rs 1.01 lakh each.
There was no remorse on the face of convicts after hearing the sentence awarded by the court.
The court observed that "any person who waits at a bus stop for transportation does so with the assurance that the buses plying on the road have complied with all statutory requirements and the person manning them have been permitted by the appropriate government to ply buses on the road after their antecedents have been verified."
The incident with Ram Adhar affects every person who does not afford private transportation, it noted.
"Even if a bus on the road is plying with all permits and statutory compliances, and it by chance happens to be empty, a person will think twice before entering it, lest he may suffer the same fate as Ram Adhar," the court said.
The court said that such an act on the part of the convicts has taken away the confidence with which Ram Adhar boarded the said bus.
"In future, Ram Adhar will always have the memory of this incident at the back of his mind whenever he needs to use public transport," the court added.
The court opined that this incident may also compel Ram Adhar to shun public transport altogether and arrange for private transport.
All four were sentenced to death in the gangrape case by a trial court, which was confirmed by the Delhi high court. The matter is now pending in the Supreme Court.
The Delhi Police, in its chargesheet filed on March 15, 2013, in the robbery case, said bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay, along with a juvenile, snatched Ram Adhar's mobile phone and Rs 1,500 after luring him into the bus.
Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were put on trial in the case for which charges were framed in July 2013. Charges against Ram Singh abated after his death in Tihar jail in March 2013.