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Life-term for two in gang-rape case

By Nirnimesh Kumar

NEW DELHINEW DELHI, JAN. 17.JAN. 17. More than two years after the sensational Maulana Azad Medical College gang-rape case rocked the capital, a Delhi court today sentenced two persons to life imprisonment for committing the outrage on the roof of the famous Mughal monument Khooni Darwaza.

Rejecting a submission by counsel for the convicts that his clients — prime accused Rahul alias Budhparkash and his accomplice Amit — should be released on probation as they were young and poor, the Additional Sessions Judge, Chander Shekhar, said: "The convicts are guilty of a gruesome act, and no amount of punishment will be sufficient for them."

Allowing the submission by the prosecution that the convicts deserved the most severe punishment that would prove a deterrent to other criminals, the Judge said: "In a case of murder, it destroys the physical frame of the victim, but a rapist degrades the soul of a helpless female in consequence whereupon she suffers and dies every day."

The court had held the two young men guilty under Section 376 (2) (g) (gang-rape), 392 (robbing the mobile phone of the victim) and 397 (robbery with attempt to cause grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.

Two other accused, Ashok and Mohan Lal, who faced trial along with the convicts, were acquitted of the charge of harbouring the accused and dishonestly receiving stolen property from the accused, respectively, on the ground that the prosecution had not been able to prove the charges against them.

There were six accused in the case, two of them juvenile. The juveniles had pleaded guilty to the charge of committing rape before a juvenile justice court in 2003, and they had been sent to a remand home. They will stay there till they attain adulthood.

The convicts had waylaid their victim near the ancient monument opposite Ferozeshah Kotla grounds, dragged her on to the roof, and then sexually assaulted her at knife-point.

NCW hails verdict

By Our Staff Correspondent

NEW DELHINEW DELHI, JAN. 17.JAN. 17. The National Commission for Women (NCW) has welcomed the judgment of a Delhi court sentencing to life two accused in the gang rape of a student of the Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) in the capital two years ago. "Incidents of rape are reported everyday and it is a Herculean task to bring the accused to book. It is even worse when the accused are let out on bail and the victim is treated like an accused," the NCW chairperson said.

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