Fast-track courts send nine to gallows

Fast-track courts (FST) in sexual assault cases in Delhi are not showing any mercy to rape-murder convicts. In four verdicts delivered so far in rape-murder cases, all the nine convicts were sentenced to death. They included the four men convicted in the December 16, 2012, gang rape.

Six FTCs were set up last January following the Dec 16, 2012, gang rape. The latest verdict was handed down on February 19 in the brutal rape and murder of a 19-year-old. The court sentenced three youths to death for the abduction, rape and murder of the young woman, whose mutilated and decomposed body was found in a Haryana village. 

In November last year, a special court awarded the death penalty to a 23-year-old man for the brutal murder of his seven-year-old neighbour. Before that, on Sep 13, 2013, the four convicts in the Dec 16 gang rape case were given the death penalty. The first death penalty awarded was in January 2013, days after the FTC was set up.

A 60-year-old guard was given the death penalty for the gruesome rape and murder of the three-year-old daughter of a rickshaw puller.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Yogesh Khanna handed down the death penalty in the Dec 16 case. ASJ Virender Bhat handed down the other three verdicts. 

The father of the December 16 gang rape victim expressed satisfaction over the verdict handed down. “Such verdicts will send a strong message to society that rapists cannot be let free after committing gruesome crimes,” he said. 

Bhat, while handing down the death penalty last November to a 23-year-old man for the brutal rape-murder of a seven-year-old neighbour, said that such convicts are a ‘menace to society and do not deserve to be alive’.

The judge held that the crime committed by Bharat Kumar falls in the category of rarest of rare. In 2010, Kumar had lured the girl with snacks and chocolate and taken her to a secluded field in Palam village where he raped and killed her, smashing her face with a heavy object.

ASJ Bhat, while giving the verdict in the case of a 60-year-old guard, said he deserved death for the rape and murder of a 3-year-old as the child was subjected to the convict’s lust in such a manner that she died on the spot.

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