HC sentences man to 20 yrs imprisonment without remission for raping, murdering woman

The Delhi High Court has modified the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to a man for raping a woman, inserting sticks in her private parts, before strangling her, to 20 years in jail without remission.

The high court considered the “diabolic and depraved manner” in which the man took the victim to a solitary place and not only sexually assaulted her but inserted broken sticks in her vaginal and anal cavities before killing her by strangulation, and said he deserved imprisonment for a fixed term without remission.

The court also noted the mitigating circumstances including that the man is 38 years old at the moment, has undergone 8 years of imprisonment and has to look after two minor children and a wife as there is nobody else in the family to take care of them.

“Considering the mitigating and extenuating circumstances, this court finds that a sentence of imprisonment for a period of 20 years without remission would serve the purpose. Consequently, the sentence awarded to the appellant by the trial court is modified to rigorous imprisonment for a period of 20 years without remission,” a bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Poonam A Bamba said.

The high court also asked the man to deposit a Rs 60,000 fine and, if realised, the amount shall be paid as compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased woman.

The high court’s verdict came on a plea by convict Ram Tej challenging his conviction and life imprisonment awarded by a trial court in May 2018 after holding him guilty for the rape and murder of the woman, who was in early thirties.

Earlier, the high court had refused to set aside the man’s conviction for raping the woman and inserting sticks in her private parts before strangling her.

The high court upheld the man’s conviction, saying the forensic evidence, including DNA analysis, clinch the case of the prosecution that the man did commit rape.

“Thus these two clothes as per DNA analysis, clinch the case of the prosecution that appellant committed the rape of the deceased, brutally inserted sticks in her vagina and anal cavities, tied her and strangulated her to death,” it had said, adding it has found no error in the conviction judgment.

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According to the prosecution, the woman’s husband had in January 2015 reported her missing when she did not return home from work.

The next morning, police found the half naked body of the woman with her neck and legs tied with a cloth in a nursery in Fatehpur Beri area in South Delhi.

During the investigation, it was revealed that there were frequent calls between the victim and the accused. The man was tracked down and arrested on the basis of the call details.

In his defence, the man claimed the prosecution had failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and, therefore, the trial court erred in convicting him. He sought his appeal to be allowed.

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