Victim's parents reject defence petition

Victim's parents reject defence petition

Parents of the December 16 gang-rape victim have rejected defence lawyers’ plea seeking leniency towards the accused citing the beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi: “God gives life and he alone can take it, and not man-made courts”. 

Interacting with mediapersons after conclusion of the three-hour-long arguments in Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna’s courtroom on Wednesday, the 23-year-old paramedical student’s parents reiterated that justice would not be done until the accused are hanged.

“I do not understand why the defence lawyers are seeking mercy when they know that our daughter will not come back. If the accused believed in being lenient, they would not have left our child to die on a highway. Our goal is to ensure that the accused get punished and are hanged,” said the woman's 46-year-old mother.

Her father stated that by seeking the death penalty they are not seeking revenge for their daughter’s death, but trying to send a strong message to society. “If the accused do not get death penalty after committing a crime like this, there will be no end to such crimes in our country,” he said.

They added that though strong laws have been announced following their daughter’s death, the government has failed to ensure its application in cases that are being reported. They added that they were expecting the quantum of punishment to be pronounced on Wednesday.

“We have been visiting courts for months and expect the journey to finally end on Friday. Fast-track courts have been announced, but they are still taking months to announce the verdict,” said the victim's father.

The woman’s mother stated that they have faith in the judiciary and are hopeful of their daughter getting justice. At the moment, they feel that laws should also be changed while dealing with juveniles to provide harsher punishment for one of the accused. 

Meanwhile, the lawyer of the victim’s male friend said that the 28-year-old is likely to attend the last expected hearing of the case in the fast-track court on Friday. When asked why the male friend has been missing from the courtroom despite being the complainant, D K Mishra, a criminal lawyer and uncle of the male friend, said that it is only because he is busy with his work.

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