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Delhi High Court upholds conviction of Gang Rape and Murder convicts, Modifies Sentence to Rigorous Life Imprisonment without Remission.

Delhi High Court upholds conviction of Gang Rape and Murder convicts, In connection with the gang rape and murder of a woman in 2012 whose body was found in semi-naked condition. This was seen in the case of SIKANDER SONI AND ANR v. STATE (CRL.A. 1157/2017).   The case was presided over by division bench of HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE MUKTA GUPTA and HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ANISH DAYAL.

Facts of the case-

Dead body of a young female was found lying in a semi naked condition with injury marks all around the face. After arrest the two accused had pointed out the place of incident near city’s Nehru Stadium where they had gang raped the woman in a car.

When one of the convict disclosed the police team went to his village and recovered two small rings and a car. They were then convicted by the trial court under sec. 302 and 34 of Indian Penal Code for rigorous imprisonment for life (not less than 20 years); under sec. 376 (2)(g) for rigorous imprisonment.

 Judgement-

The court ordered that the prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the impugned judgment on conviction by the learned Trial Court is duly upheld.

It was found out that rom the nature of injuries in the post mortem report of the deceased, it was evident that she had put up a brave resistance before the convicts who overpowered her physically, caused grievous injuries on her body, raped and eventually strangulated her moreover it was further noted that the convicts attempted to erase the evidence by dumping the body on the roadside and extracted her belongings and put them in different locations.

The court observed that “Notwithstanding the fact that the learned Trial Court did not have the power or jurisdiction to grant life sentence of more than 14 years, this Court having appreciated the facts and circumstances of this case, is of the view that the gravity and the depravity of the crime committed by the appellants was of a serious nature and therefore this Court issued notice to the said appellants and directed production in Court to show cause as to why their sentence should not be fixed for a period of more than 14 years.”

The order on sentence by the learned Trial Court was modified to the extent that life sentence for the offence punishable under Section 302/34 IPC will be for rigorous imprisonment for life not less than 20 years without remission. The rest of the sentence for offence punishable under Section 376(2)(g) IPC and 201 IPC shall remain the same as awarded by the Learned Trial Court.

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Judgement review by Utkarsh Sahu.

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