'Women feel unsafe': Prosecutors call on judges to uphold death sentences for Delhi gang-rape



Prosecutors have called on judges to uphold the death sentences handed down to the men convicted of the Delhi gang-rape, arguing that a message would be sent to society that "deviant behaviour" would not be tolerated.

"After the incidents of gang-rape in Delhi and Mumbai, there is a feeling that women in this country are unsafe everywhere," prosecutor Dayan Krishnan told the Delhi High Court. "By giving the maximum sentence the message to society would be that deviant behaviour of an extreme nature will not be tolerated."

He added: "By not giving the maximum sentence the message sent out will be that people can get away with incidents like this."

The submission to the court came as lawyers for four men convicted earlier this year and sentenced to death for the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student are challenging the lower court's decision.

In September, Mukesh Singh, 26, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Vinay Sharma, 20, were sentenced to death by a fast-track court following a trial that lasted nine months. All had pleaded not guilty.

A fifth man, Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh's brother, was found hanging in his cell in Delhi's Tihar jail earlier in the year. A sixth male, who was 17 at the time of the crime, was also found guilty and sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institution.

The young woman had been fatally assaulted as she and a male friend made their way home from an evening at the cinema and erroneously boarded an off-duty bus which the men were driving around the city. After being beaten, stripped and the young woman repeated raped, the pair were thrown from the moving vehicle.

On Friday, Mr Krishnan told the court that the brutal nature of the crime meant it fitted the requirement fixed by the Indian Supreme Court that the death penalty only be awarded in the "rarest of rare" cases. He also said the poor backgrounds of the convicted men should not be considered a form of mitigation. "If this is not a rarest of rare case, there is none," he said.

As it was, the defendants were not in court on Friday and neither were their lawyers. ML Sharma, who represents Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta, belatedly sent a message to the court saying he was away from Delhi, attending another case. Lawyers for the two other men were also not present to make their case.

"It is a very unfortunate situation, we are extremely pained. That is what we can say," said Judge Reva Khetrapal, who said the impression was being given that the lawyers had no defence to offer. "Running away will not solve the problem. How long will you run? Better to put your best foot forward."

Earlier in the week, Mr Krishnan told the court there was extensive medical evidence to support the prosecution's case. He said the trial court had relied on a DNA analysis report, the testimonies of doctors from Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi and also from Singapore, where the victim was sent in a failed attempt to save her.

"The report clearly established the involvement of the accused," he said, according to the Press Trust of India.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk