The Delhi High Court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to five convicts in the sensational 2010 Dhaula Kuan gangrape case of a 30-year-old BPO woman executive from north-east.
A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and P S Teji dismissed the appeals of five convicts and said that not only was the victim’s testimony sufficient, but her deposition was also corroborated by her friend, who was with her at the time of abduction, and her employer.
The bench handed down the jail term to Usman alias Kale, Shamshad alias Khutkan, Shahid alias Chhota Billi, Iqbal alias Bada Billi and Kamruddin alias Mobile, all residents of Mewat region in Haryana.
It said the prosecution has been able to establish all the charges against the convicts who have failed to make out any ground in support of their appeal and the same deserves dismissal.
The bench said that from the woman’s testimony, the prosecution has established that on the night of November 23 -24, 2010, the five men had kidnapped the victim near Sharma Automobiles in south Delhi’s Moti Bagh, took her in a pick-up van and raped her in the moving vehicle.
The incident took place when she along with a friend was returning home from their office in Gurgaon and were just dropped by the office cab.
The convicts then took her to Mangolpuri in outer Delhi, gangraped her and left her at an isolated road. The victim has since returned to her home in Mizoram.
Upholding the conviction of the five, the bench said that the trial court found the woman’s evidence credible and trustworthy and the high court finds no reason to take a different view.
“In our considered view, the testimony of the prosecutrix is natural, reliable, credible and trustworthy, free from any kind of glitches. She in simple language narrated the incident at the time of her deposition before the trial court and her testimony has duly been corroborated by her friend and employer,” it said.
The five men were convicted and sentenced by a trial court here in October 2014, with the judge observing that the the offence demonstrated that the five married men having children, “were on the prowl, looking for a prey to satiate their sexual lust.”
It had said that they were “psychopaths” who should be kept away from the society as long as possible. The five men were held guilty for offences of gangrape, abduction, criminal intimidation and common intention.
Besides awarding them life term, which was the maximum sentence for the offence, the court had also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on each of the convicts.
The convicts challenged the trial court verdict claiming that they were falsely implicated and that there was a gap in the prosecution story regarding identification of the accused and linking them up with the crime.
The bench, however, rejected their claims saying that while Usman and Shamshad were identified by the woman during their test identification parade (TIP), Shahid, Iqbal and Kamruddin had refused to participate in TIP proceedings and an adverse inference is warranted against them. It also said the DNA report clearly demonstrated that the victim was raped by them.