Dhaula Kuan rape convict gets 14-year jail term

"Committal of gangrape is a beastly act and rape itself, rather, takes out the life from the life of victim. The scars of the rape always remain engraved in her mind and she cannot overcome that throughout her life," Additional Sessions Judge Neeraj Kumar Gupta observed in his 71-page judgment while sentencing Ajit Singh Katiyar, who was convicted on Tuesday for abduction, rape and criminal intimidation.
 
Katiyar, the only one of the four accused to be arrested in the case, was also fined Rs.20,000. During the arguments, public prosecutor Ram Avtar demanded the maximum punishment of life imprisonment for Katiyar, saying that at the time of attack the girl was "very young" and her whole life has been ruined by the crime.
 
However, defence counsel Manoj Sharma contended Katiyar was innocent and the other three accused, yet to be arrested, were the real culprits. Katiyar's family also pleaded his innocence.

"My son is innocent. How did police not arrest the other three accused in the case even after four years? How a driver can rape girl in a moving car?" asked Katiyar's father Ram Kishore with tears in his eyes. He said his son was the family's only earning member.

The court had relied on the statement of the victim, who stated that she was raped by four persons, one by one, and Katiyar was one of them.

"It is a settled principle of law that testimony of the rape victim in a rape case cannot be compared with that of an accomplice, and her testimony is as good as that of an injured person...rather she stands at a higher pedestal than even to an injured person as not only she suffers from the physical injury but also from mental, psychological and emotional injuries," the judge observed.

The court also snubbed defence counsel for contending that the victim was involved in such kind of practices, was not a virgin, and for raising questions about her character.
"The private life of a person has nothing to do with the case. It cannot be said that a lady who has already lost her virginity is unreliable."

In 2005, four men in a Santro car abducted the student, who belongs to the northeast, from near a Dhaula Kuan eatery late at night. After forcibly dragging the girl into the car, the men raped her.

They later threw her out of the car near a gurdwara at Dhaula Kuan. Katiyar, a driver with a Noida-based call centre, was arrested five days later and was identified by the victim in an identification parade conducted inside Tihar Jail.
 
The other three accused - Danda, Jat and Tappe - evaded arrest and were declared proclaimed offenders.

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