Five members of a family were sentenced to death by a sessions court here on Friday for the June 2010 “honour killing” of a young couple belonging to different castes. Yogesh, 20, a Dalit, and the girl, Asha, 19, were planning to get married when they were mercilessly beaten up and electrocuted.

Additional Sessions Judge Ramesh Kumar said the “savage nature” of the crime fell in the category of “rarest of rare cases.” Those convicted were Asha’s parents, Suraj and Maya, uncle Om Prakash, his wife Khushboo and Asha’s cousin Sanjeev.

Third case

This is the third case in which the death penalty has been awarded by a sessions court in Delhi since May last year when the Supreme Court said that “honour killings” fell in the “rarest of rare” category deserving capital punishment.

“Keeping in view the medical evidence and the state in which the bodies of the deceased were found, it is obvious that the most heinous type of murders were committed…. Both the deceased were electrocuted…. The offence was not only inhuman and barbaric but the savage nature of the crime has shocked the judicial conscience…. Coldblooded, brutal murders through electrocution have been committed even as there was no provocation on behalf of the victims, making it the rarest of rare cases which calls for no punishment other than capital punishment,” said the Judge.

The court rejected the leniency plea of the convicts, who said they belonged to a poor family and had minor children to look after.

Cannot be overlooked

The manner in which the offence was committed could not be overlooked, said the Judge.

“Just like a flower has got its own unique fragrance, colour and appearance, both victims had their own plans for life that lay ahead.

It is clear from the evidence that both victims intended to marry but all the convicts snatched their lives prior to fulfilment of their dreams,” the judgment said.

According to the prosecution, a few days before the incident, Asha had told her mother of her love for Yogesh and their wish to get married.