Delhi court upholds sex workers dignity, jails rapists

  • Avantika Mehta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2014 11:21 IST

Four men who raped a Rwandan woman refugee in Delhi just weeks before the brutal December 16 gangrape shook the Capital have been found guilty and sentenced to the maximum penalty of 10 years in jail by a Delhi court.

The men, in their defence, had claimed the woman was a prostitute and an illegal immigrant who had falsely implicated them to find an excuse to stay on in the country. The court, however, said their argument “deserves to be rejected outright”.

During her cross-examination, the woman said she previously worked as a prostitute. However, the judge said it was irrelevant to the case. “Simply because the victim worked as a sex worker before the incident in question doesn’t confer any right upon anyone to violate her dignity,” additional sessions judge Kaveri Baweja said.

The court further noted that DNA evidence found on the convicts left no doubt there were physical relations between them and the rape survivor, adding “it is not the claim of the accused that the prosecutrix entered into sexual relations with the accused voluntarily”.

“This is a good judgment. The ministry of women and child has already clarified that no action needs to be taken against foreign nationals who may have been brought here and forced into trafficking. It’s good that the court has reinforced this stand,” Ravi Kant, president of NGO Shakti Vahini that works for gender equality, told HT.

The convicts Deepak, Praveen, Vikas and Ashok Ekka — all Delhi residents — were sentenced to 10 years in jail for gang-rape and abduction.They were also ordered to pay a compensation of Rs. 59,000 to the rape survivor.

According to the rape survivor’s statement, she was walking towards Gandhi Nagar around 7pm on December 1, 2012 when three men in a car grabbed her.

She was then drugged, brutally beaten and raped in the moving car before she lost consciousness. She woke up naked and bleeding on the banks of the Yamuna.

Her clothes, wallet and money were later recovered from the homes of the accused.

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