Life sentence for Delhi taxi drivers for gangrape, murder of young mother

Odisha Student Gangrape
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New Delhi: A local court has held two taxi drivers guilty of gang-rape and murder of a woman in Delhi, and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for life. Their act was brutal and diabolic, creating a sense of insecurity among women seeking to hire taxi at late hours, the court said.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain sentenced Sikander alias Soni, 32, and Pradeep Singh, 34, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life, which means imprisonment for a period not less than 20 years.

“In the instant case, the convicts have not only committed the vile act of gang-rape of the deceased/prosecutrix (victim), who was a young woman aged 24 to 26 years, but also strangulated her to death,” the court said in its July 1 order, which was released on Thursday.

The court noted that the two men, after committing the murder, tried to destroy evidence as they threw her semi-naked body near a Metro flyover in Nehru Place.

“The act of the convicts was brutal and diabolic,” the court said.

“It is also true that the convicts are young men and do not have previous record of conviction and their parents are old and poor, but it is to be noted that they committed gang-rape and murder of a young woman having one-and-half years old son.”

“She (victim) had come to Defence Colony for shopping for her son. She hired their taxi for going to Rohini but they betrayed her trust, and created a sense of insecurity among women that it would be unsafe for a them to hire a taxi at late hours,” the court said.

The court, after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and keeping in mind the interests of the society at large and the rights of the convicts, observed: “I am of the view that this case does not fall under the category of rarest of the rare case warranting death sentence.”

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on each convict and said that the fine amount of Rs one lakh should be given to the victim’s son.

Besides, the court also asked the Delhi Legal Service Authority to decide an appropriate compensation to be awarded to the legal heirs of the deceased.

According to Delhi Police, on April 23, 2012, the woman from west Delhi visited Lajpat Nagar and Defence Colony to shop for her son.

She hired a taxi, and, finding her alone, the drivers, instead of driving her to the destination, took her towards Lodhi Institutional Area where they raped her.

They then throttled the woman to death and threw her body at Nehru Place so as to cause disappearance of evidence, the police stated.

On May 6, the court had convicted Soni and Singh under various charges related to gang-rape, murder and destruction of evidence.