New Delhi: A court here on Wednesday awarded 10-year jail terms to four people – earlier convicted for the brutal gangrape of December 16, 2012 – in a dacoity case that occurred on the same night. Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh on August 27 convicted the four people for dacoity, kidnapping, wrongfully confining a person, voluntarily causing hurt in committing or attempting to commit robbery, dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing it was obtained by dacoity and common intention under the Indian Penal Code. The four gangrape convicts Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh and Pawan Gupta – were tried for beating up and robbing carpenter Ram Adhar before they raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapist in a moving bus in Delhi. The court observed that ramifications of the incident with the public at large did not not allow it to show any leniency on account of their age, their economic and social backgrounds of their family situations. The court on Wednesday sentenced them to undergo a rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and slapped a fine of Rs.1.01 lakh each. There was no remorse on the face of convicts even after hearing the sentence awarded by the court.
The court observed that “any person who waits at a bus stop for transportation does so with the assurance that the buses plying on the road have complied with all statutory requirements and the person manning them have been permitted by the appropriate government to ply buses on the road after their antecedents have been verified”. The incident with Ram Adhar is an incident which affects every person who does not afford private transportation, it noted. “Even if a bus on the road is plying with all permits and statutory compliance’s, but that bus by chances happens to be empty, a person will think twice before entering it, lest he may suffer the same fate as Ram Adhar,” the court said. “This incident shakes the confidence of the public that buses plying on the road are a safe and secure mode of transport. “The court said such an act on the part of the convicts has taken away the confidence with which Ram Adhar boarded the said bus. “In future, Ram Adhar will always have the memory of this incident at the back of his mind whenever he needs to use public transport,” the court added.
The court opined that this incident may also compel Ram Adhar to shun public transport altogether and arrange for private transport for himself. All four were sentenced to death in the gang rape case by a trial court, which was confirmed by the Delhi High Court. The matter is now pending in the Supreme Court. Delhi Police, in its charge sheet filed on March 15, 2013, in the robbery case, said bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay, along with a juvenile, snatched Ram Adhar’s mobile phone and Rs.1,500 after luring him into the bus. Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were put on trial in this case in which charges were framed in July 2013. Charges against Ram Singh abated after his death in Tihar Jail in March 2013.