Live: Judge breaks nib of pen after sentencing Delhi gangrape convicts to death

9. 04 pm: Judge breaks nib of pen after sentencing convicts to death

Immediately after signing the order of death sentence to the four convicts in the December 16 gangrape and murder case, the judge broke the nib of the pen, in keeping with a tradition.

“It is the first death sentence awarded by Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna after he took over as the judge of the fast track court constituted to try cases of sexual offences against women,” court sources said. - PTI

8. 13 pm: Convicts get white pyjamas, to undergo medical tests

The four convicts in the Delhi gang-rape case returned from court to jail and wore white kurta pyjamas, indicating they were no more undertrials.

According to the Tihar Jail practice, undertrials who are sentenced in a case get the formal prisoners’ dress and shifted to sections in the prison meant for convicts. - IANS

7. 10 pm: You got what you wanted. Now never come here again, convicts mother tells media

In the wake of the verdict in the December 16 gangrape case, the parents of two convicts today cried foul and alleged the punishment was given under media pressure.

“You have got what you wanted. Now never come here again,” said Champa, mother of Vinay Sharma before fainting at the doorstep of her one-room shanty at Ravidas camp in South Delhi.

The neighbors said the families of Pawan Gupta and Vinay had locked themselves inside their houses since early morning, anticipating “severest punishment” to their sons. Families of Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, who also resided in the camp, were not to be seen.

“Their parents had come for just two-three days after the incident happened and left. Since then, the house is locked,” said a neighbour. - PTI

6.12 pm: Father of convict likely to appeal in high court

The father of one of the rapists sentenced to death by a Delhi court for the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic in the national capital last December, today said he would explore the option of appealing to a higher court.

Saryu Singh, the father of convict Akshay Thakur, told reporters at Lahankarma village in Aurangabad district, about 225 km from Patna, that the death sentence seemed 'unbelievable'.

Singh, a marginal farmer, said the option of going to a higher court against the verdict would be explored. - PTI

5.28 pm: Delhi gangrape victim's village celebrates verdict

People of the Delhi gang-rape victim's ancestral village in Ballia, UP lit candles and distributed sweets after hearing that a court has awarded death penalty to her attackers today.

Medawar Kalan village, which came into the spotlight after the brutal December 16 incident last year, has been struggling to cope with floods in recent days, but its residents were more anxious about the verdict in the case and were sitting glued to the TV sets since the morning.

Sound of drums reverberated through the village as soon as the news of the verdict flashed on tv screens.

They also lit candles in the village temple to pay condolences to the girl as well as to thank their deity for the justice meted to her.

A Delhi court today awarded the four convicts death penalty for the brutal assault on the 23 year-old girl on a moving bus on December 16, 2011, a case that had triggered nationwide outrage and massive protests forcing the government to bring stringent anti-rape laws.

5.07 pm: Absolutely euphoric, says former Delhi police commissioner

Former Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar has said that he is greatly relieved at the sentence passed on the four men convicted of gangraping and murdering a 23-year-old medical student.

"My first reaction is one of great relief, triumph, sense of closure and sense of gratitude to all those who worked on this case", said Kumar to CNN-IBN, who was at the helm of the Delhi police when the incident took place on 16 December 2012.

Kumar and the Delhi police came in for harsh criticism after the incident, because the general feeling was that they were not doing enough to curb violence against women in a notoriously unsafe city.

"I was under attack at a personal level for reasons beyond me but I didn't get upset or unhinged I continued with investigations, and thank god we have been successful. There were many challenges from the word go.  It was a challenge at every level. But this was superb teamwork and god was behind us", he told the channel.

He admitted however, that he could have done better, especially in terms of the way that the Delhi police handled the unprecedented protests after the rape. " Any human endeavor can be done better in hindsight. Every experience is a learning curve and indeed it was. but the police doesn't enjoy using force. If we did we would have started beating people in the morning. It was the circumstances that led us to what we did and we were not happy about it", he added.

4.26 pm: You have upheld 'Jhootameva jayatey, says Defence lawyer to judge

Defence lawyer AP Singh snapped at the judge and alleged his verdict was politically biased.

"Judge saab aap satyameva jayathey ke jagah jhootameva jayatey ko uphold kiya, ye political pressure-eva jayathey hai, vote bank politics eva jayathey hain," said Singh who was defending Vinay Sharma and Thakur in court. (You have not upheld truth but lies. This decision has been taken under political pressure and for vote bank politics.)

4.2o pm: Judge also orders compensation for victim's family

The operative part of the judgement, handing down the death sentence to the Delhi convicts also orders the four men to pay a total of Rs 55,000 each to the 23-year-old victim's family.

The sentence says, "The convicts, namely, convict Akshay Kumar Singh Thakur, convict Mukesh, convict Vinay Sharma and convict Pawan Gupta Kaalu are sentenced to death for offence punishable under section 302 Indian Penal Code. Accordingly, the convicts be hanged by neck till they are dead. Fine of Rs.10,000/- to each of the convict is also imposed and in default of payment of fine such convict shall undergo simple Imprisonment for a period of one month.

In addition to this, the judge also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 for each of the sections of the IPC that they were convicted under: namely sections 365, 366, 376, 377, 307, 201, 395 and 412.
The judgement also calls for 'appropriate punishment' under 357-A Cr.P.C which is an order to pay compensation.

3.50 pm: Death sentence sends right message to society, tweets Kiran Bedi

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said that the decision by the Delhi sessions court to give all four accused in the Delhi case the death sentence sent the correct message to all of Indian society. "Clear message to parents and teachers and community at large. Be responsible! Or be hung! And lose your life. Thanku for Justice Done!", she tweeted shortly after the verdict.

 

 

3.20 pm: My client shouldn't have got death, says lawyer for Pawan Gupta

The defence lawyer for Pawan Gupta, who was one of the four men convicted for raping and murdering a 23-year-old medical student has said that the punishment handed out to his client was 'disproportionate'.

"I am not in agreement with the decision and am not satisfied with this punishment... this is highly disproportionate and this crime may have been rarest of the rare, but Pawan Gupta was not such a type of criminal that he should have been awarded the death penalty", he said to reporters.

3.00 pm: Girl's family has got justice, says Sushilkumar Shinde

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said that the verdict in the Delhi gangrape case would ensure justice for the victim's family.

"I welcome the court verdict. The girl's family has got justice", Shinde told reporters. "The crime was inhuman... it was a blot on humanity", he added.

"Under 203 IPC, in the rarest of rare cases, this type of punishments have been announced earlier by many judges. So the result was to come and thats why we were not sure what decision will be taken by the judge".

2.55 pm: Needed to send a strong message, says judge Yogesh Khanna

The judge in the Delhi rape case, Yogesh Khanna, has said that he decided to hand the death sentence to all four accused in the Delhi gangrape case because they needed to send a strong message that the 'rampant' crimes against women would not be tolerated.

"Death to all," the Additional Sessions Judge said.

"Besides discussing others offences, I straightaway come to section 302 (murder) of IPC. This falls under inhuman nature of the convicts and the gravity of offence they committed cannot be tolerated. Death sentence is given to all the four convicts," he said.

"Court cannot turn a blind eye to such a gruesome act," the judge said, while handing down the maximum punishment.

He said, "When crime against women is rising on day-to-day basis, so, at this point in time court cannot keep its eye shut."

"There should be exemplary punishment in view of the unparallelled brutality with which the victim was gangraped and murdered, as the case falls under the rarest of rare category. All be given death," the court said while reading out a portion of the order.

"This is a time when serious crime against a woman has come to the fore and now its judiciary's responsibility to instill confidence among the women," it said.

2.35 pm: Victim's father thanks police after death sentence

Soon after the sentencing was read out, the Delhi rape victim's father thanked the police, saying that justice had been done to his daughter and family. "I am very happy, I thank everyone, the public and the media", he said.

The victim's mother said that her fight was not over, though she was happy with the verdict. Soon after the news filtered out, minutes after the hearing began, the judge had pronounced the death penalty for all four convicts, crowds of agitators gathered outside began to applaud.

The victim's mother, who was inside the courtroom, told reporters, "Dil ko sukoon mil gaya" (My heart is at peace). However she also said that the battle was not over.

Meanwhile the prosecution lawyer was understandably jubilant.

"Today after so long we have got the judgement, it is victory for all. The family and those who have been protesting across Delhi", he said to the media.

"The judiciary of the country has been upheld. We thank the media and the people of the country for their support. What the defence lawyer is saying is lies. This judgement was not politically motivated. The evidence was watertight", he said.

2.30 pm: All four convicts get death in Delhi gangrape case

The four convicts in the Delhi gangrape case have been handed the death sentence for the murder and gangrape of a 23-year-old medical student on 16 December 2012 in a case that gripped the nation. In addition to the death sentence, the four convicts were also handed maximum punishment for every section of the IPC that they were convicted under. According to media reporters in the courtroom, there had been no reaction from the convicts when the sentence was read out. However a Times Now reporter said that this was because the verdict had been read out in English and had not been translated in Hindi.

Meanwhile the defence lawyer for two of the victims AP Singh has broken down in front of the cameras and alleged political conspiracy.

2.02 pm: Defence lawyers enter courtroom ahead of sentencing Defence lawyers AP Singh lawyer for convicts Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma have entered the court room, says Firstpost reporter Danish Raza. "Anxious reporters, lawyers and court staff wait outside court no 304 on the third floor of the Saket complex", he adds. The victim's family is also at the court and are awaiting the sentencing. They have already said that they want nothing less than the death penalty.

1.30 pm: Delhi rape convicts brought to court for sentencing

The four convicted men in the Delhi rape case have been brought to the Saket fast track court ahead of the sentencing at 2.30pm. ANI News have tweeted the following image:

The convicts are now in the lock up, says Firstpost reporter Danish Raza who is at the Saket court house.

1.00 pm: Media ring Saket court house ahead of crucial Delhi verdict

The Saket court house is ringed by media ahead of the sentencing in the Delhi gangrape case, says Firstpost reporter Danish Raza who is present at the venue.

Image by Danish Raza/Firstpost

Image by Danish Raza/Firstpost

The accused in the case are expected to be brought to the court by around 2.15pm, he said. The police have barricaded the roads leading up to the Saket court in order to control crowds. Although the court premises are only occupied with journalists at the moment, authorities are expecting protestors and other members of the public to gather there as well.

12.42 pm: Defence lawyers decry political pressure over rape case again

A defence lawyer for the convicted men in the Delhi gangrape case, has said that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had got his clients convicted in the Delhi gangrape case. The comment was reported by CNN-IBN. This is not the first time that the lawyers for the convicted men have blamed the Home Minister for the guilty verdict. Speaking to reporters shortly after the court pronounced the men guilty, defence lawyer AP Singh said that the case against his clients should have been acquitted, and that the convictions had been made under political pressure. He had later cited comments by Sushilkumar Shinde expressing confidence that the men would get the death penalty as proof that the verdict of the case had been a foregone conclusion. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Singh also said that he planned to appeal the verdict of the fast track court before the High Court, saying that his clients were innocent and 'were in shock' over the deicion of the fast track court.

11.30 am: Only death penalty will give our daughter justice, say victim's parents

And even as the parents of the four convicts plead for mercy, the parents of the 23-year-old medical student who died as a result of their actions, have said that they would not be satisfied with anything less than the death penalty. "We are hoping for justice today. The men have committed a horrible crime and behaved like animals. They should be hanged," her mother said, according to a report in CNN-IBN. "I will be stepping out of the house today with the hope that my daughter gets proper justice. Justice in this case will only be death penalty. Anything less than the death penalty will not be enough," said her father.

10.56 am:  'Even God gives people a second chance', pleads convict's mother

In the run up to the sentencing of the Delhi gangrape convicts, the mother of Vinay Sharma, who was 19 at the time the gangrape and murder were committed, has pleaded for mercy for her son. "They are hard workers. Not one complaint against them," an AFP report quoted her as saying. "The judge should give them a second chance to reform themselves. Even God gives every person a second chance". The lawyer for Sharma had also mentioned his age during arguments for the quantum of sentence, saying that he needed to be given a chance to reform. The lawyers for the other accused have also pleaded for leniency.

10.47 am: What is 'rarest of rare'?

With all the speculation on whether or not the four convicts in the Delhi gangrape will get the death sentence, there has been renewed interest in what kind of crimes are considered 'rarest of the rare' in order to warrant the death penalty under Indian law. The Wall Street Journal has done an excellent explainer of how different courts have invoked the 'rarest of rare' condition to hand down the death penalty. According to the report, "Multiple murders – where many members of a family or group are killed – also merit the death penalty. Some rather broad categories also potentially merit the death penalty. The murder of a wife in order to marry another woman with whom a man is “infatuated” can incur capital punishment, the court has said. And so can the murder of any of the following: a child; a “helpless woman”; an old or “infirm” person; a person with whom the murderer has a relationship of trust; and a figure who is beloved for public service he or she has rendered and who is killed for political purposes. In addition to murder, Indian law says the death penalty can be used in crimes such as waging war against India or offering false evidence that leads to the conviction and execution of an innocent person. Read more on the Wall Street Journal report here

9.10 am: Police barricade streets leading up to the Saket court

Apprehending an outburst of either euphoria or resentment following the sentencing of the gangrape convicts, the Delhi Police has set up barricades on all the roads leading up to the Saket fast track court. Given that protesters had already started camping outside the court from the day the verdict was read out, the police has prepared for the worst.

8.25 am: Will invoking Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha save the Delhi rapists from death sentence?

The four accused in the Delhi gangrape, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur who were found guilty on 11 counts, including gang rape, murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping, will hear their quantum of punishment today. The prosecution demanded death penalty for the four during arguments before Additional Session Judge Yogesh Khanna the day before and said the crime fell in the category of the “rarest of rare” cases, while the defence pleaded for “mercy” and opportunity to “reform”. The defence flailed miserably while arguing the case and had resorted to everything from appeals on emotional grounds to references to the convicts' reportedly 'clean past' and begged the judge to not grant a death sentence. VK Anand, lawyer for Mukesh Singh, brother of primary accused Ram Singh who was found dead in Tihar Jail, pleaded that ours is not a country which believes in the eye-for-an-eye principle. "We are a country that lives by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha. Gandhi said he did not believe in sending one to the gallows," said Anand. AP Singh, lawyer for Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakurv also invoked 'God' and debated on the rights of God versus the rights of man. DNA reports that Singh had said, "God gives life and he alone can take it, not man-made courts.” According to a report on The Times of India, several legal experts believe that the prosecution has built a water-tight case, enough to send the convicts to the gallows. He cited that not only was the nature of the crime one that truly falls in the 'rarest of the rare' category, the prosecution had argued that the public will lose faith in the judicial system if a light sentence is given to the rapists. Senior counsel Ramesh Gupta explains to TOI why the convicts should be awarded the death sentence. "In this case there is no doubt the victim was subjected to horrific torture and brutality that led to her death. In my view, for sheer brutality it qualifies to be a case fit for death penalty." The sentencing which will be done at 2.30 pm today and promises to be a watershed judgment in the judicial history of India.

End of updates from 11 September

3.05 pm: Death penalty will be a deterrent, says prosecution lawyer

The prosecution lawyer on the other hand declared that the court has been provided with 'water-tight evidence', enough to nail the convicts and award them death sentences. "Crimes against women are still happening. This punishment should serve as deterrent," he said. He sounded confident that the four accused will given death sentences. "If anything more is needed, we will go to high court," he said.

2.52 pm: Victim's family counters defence argument

Though the defence has tried their best to evade a death sentence by referring to the convicts' families and their future, the Delhi gangrape victim's father said that, plight of the families is not a reason why they should be let off. Speaking to NDTV, he said, "Were they reminded of their families when they were assaulting my daughter?"

2.11 pm: They are not professional criminals, says lawyer

The defence lawyer told reporters that he has sought leniency in sentencing. "These people are not professional criminals. They are innocent. They don't have a criminal record. Some of them were studying. They deserve one chance at reformation." said the defence lawyer. he said that even if they have committed a crime they should be given one chance to mend their ways. "Agar galti ho bhi gayi hai, sudharne ka ek mauka dena chahiye," he told the press. Meanwhile, there's a crowd outside the Saket Court demanding death penalty and that the courts should look into other cases immediately. Accoding to CNN IBN, the court will be deciding between life imprisonment and death penalty. AP Singh, lawyer for Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma, argued that there is 'immense political pressure' on this case and hence the accused are being unfairly tried. Firstpost reporter Danish Raza, who was present in the court premises during the proceedings, reports: "Singh raised the issue of parliamentarians with criminal backgrounds and asked why similar standards of justice delivery system were not applied for them." Singh also said that Akshay was a gym instructor and possessed 'good character'. "He donated blood twice. How can someone who wants to save people's lives, kill a girl like this?" Singh argued.

2.05 pm: Arguments concluded, sentencing on Friday

The arguments of both the parties have concluded and the judge has declared that the sentencing will be done on Friday, at 2.30 pm.

1.50 pm: Judge counters convict Mukesh Singh's lawyer's argument

According to The Indian Express, Mukesh Singh's lawyer has been arguing that Singh was just driving the bus around, so his sentence should be milder. He said that Mukesh should be sentenced for abetting the crime, not the crime itself. To which the judge retorted, "Agar woh kucch nahin kiya to police-ke paas kyon nahin gaya (If he had not done anything, why did he not go to the police)?" Seeing that this particular argument will not hold, Mukesh' lawyer changed tact and drew the judge's attention to the plight of the convict's parents. Mukesh's brother and primary accused Ram Singh was found dead in the Tihar Jail. The defence pointed at their inconsolable old mother and pleaded for mercy. At first, he asks the judge to not get carried away by by emotions and sentiments. And then he asks the same judge to consider the plight of the convicts' families. He asks, "Main apse iski maa ki taraf se daya ki bheekh mangta hoon (I am begging for your mercy on behalf of this mother)."

1:15 pm: Defence concludes arguments for three of the accused

Firstpost's Danish Raza reports that the defence lawyer has concluded the arguments for three of the accused.

12.00 pm: Defence cites convicts' age, prosecutor rubbishes argument

Vivek Sharma, the lawyer for 19-year-old convict Pawan Gupta, argued that leniency should be shown while senetencing the teenager. He said that Pawan's conduct in jail has been good and since he is so young, there is a strong chance of him reforming. Sharma argued that not only the crime, the convict's psychology should also be taken into account. Sharma also added that Pawan might have made a mistake under the influence of alcohol. However, the prosecution is in no mood to cede ground. The lawyer cited the Dhananjay Chatterjee rape case that took place in Kolkata. Chatterjee, a guard with a Kolkata building and raped and killed 14-year-old Hetal Parekh, a resident of the same building.  After spending close to a decade in jail, Chatterjee was hanged in Kolkata. The prosecution argued that what happened to the Kolkata teenager is as gruesome as what happened to the Delhi gangrape victim. He added that the 23-year-old physiotherapist's ordeal was probably even more horrifying. For the same reason, all the convicts should be awarded death. The defence had initially moved an application of contempt of court against Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. The Home Minister had said that the convicts should be awarded death. However, the Saket Court dismissed the plea as irrelevant to the ongoing proceedings.

11.17 am: Arguments for sentencing begin

The process of arguments for sentencing has began at the Saket Court. According to CNN IBN, Delhi Police has sought the maximum punishment for the convicts. The prosecution has also sought death for all the four convicts. Indian Express has tweeted that prosecutor Dayan Krishnan called the crime 'grotesque, diabolical, barbaric'. Krishnan cites Supreme Court judgments in the court saying rape and murder convicts should be awarded the death sentence. Debunking the social-inequalities-behind rape theory, he argues that those factors are not 'mitigating elements in this case'. The defence lawyers have argued citing the age of the rapists who are all between 20 to 26 years old. According to CNN IBN, Mukesh Singh's lawyer has pointed out that since he was driving the bust most of the time, the court should show leniency in sentencing him as his crime was not grievous. The defence had also applealed against the Union Home Minister's statement yesterday that all four rapists should be hanged. The judged has dismissed that appeal. According to PTI, the convicts have sought mercy saying "life imprisonment is rule and death penalty is an exception".

11.05 am: 'We are innocent!", shout convicts en route to court The four convicts in the Delhi rape case shouted that they were innocent, to the reporters assembled outside the courthouse. 10.25 am: Quantum of punishment to be argued today, will convicts get death? Now that all four accused in the Delhi gangrape trial have been found guilty under various sections of the penal code for raping and murdering a 23-year-old medical student, the only question remaining is if they will be awarded the death sentence or not. The quantum of punishments will be argued today, and there is every possibility that the decision will also be announced. The fast-track court Tuesday, on convicting the four accused in the Dec 16 gang-rape case, said they had “miserably failed” to prove their alibis against the “positive evidence” of the prosecution. Besides gangrape and murder, the court held Mukesh (26), Vinay Sharma (20), Pawan Gupta (19) and Akshay Singh Thakur (28) guilty of attempt to murder, unnatural offences, dacoity, destruction of evidence, conspiracy, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, while acquitting them of the charge of murder in dacoity. -- end of updates from 10 September--- 10.13 pm: Victim died of injuries, not medical negligence, says court The 23-year-old December 16 gangrape victim did not die of medical negligence, the Delhi court said while holding four persons guilty in the case. Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna rejected the defence argument that the girl did not die of injuries inflicted on her by the accused and instead succumbed due to medical negligence and delay in rushing her to the hospital. The court also rejected the argument of the defence that the girl died due to septicemia caused by infection she got while she was being admitted in the hospital. The judge said, "I disagree with both the submissions as the MLC do show that immediately after her admission in the hospital" and was attended to. - PTI 9.07 pm: Convicts committed the crime with the intention of causing death: Court The Delhi gang-rape victim was "humiliated" and beaten up inside the bus with the intention of causing death, the Saket District court held. "She was humiliated, her clothes were torn and pulled away from her body. She was hit by iron rods on the abdomen," the court said, adding "thereafter, she was gang raped by six persons and her body became devoid of any resistance due to these factors, the iron rods and hand were inserted into her (body)..." Additional Session Judge Yogesh Khanna said the convicts did the acts with the "intention of causing death". The court said that the victim was lean and thin in her physique and all the convicts caused grievous injuries to kill her. - IANS 4.1o pm: We will ensure those guilty are brought to book, says Delhi Police The Delhi Police on Tuesday said their duty was not only to ensure prosecution, but to also prevent such crimes for happening again. Addressing a press conference, a senior police official said the family of the victim was happy with the verdict and also said that the court appreciated the hard work put in by the force. The identification through court, technical and scientific data was used as evidence in the gangrape case, the officer said. "We will continue to ensure that those guilty in other crimes are also brought to book," he said, adding that in cases involving violence against women, the police try to arrest the accused within a week. 3:00 pm: Victim's mother says they want death penalty, father says credit goes to cops, media The mother of the girl has said that she is happy with the verdict and despite it providing some relief, they will hope that the four accused will get the death penalty. "We will only be satisfied when the entire verdict is announced and we hope that they are sentenced to death," she told CNN-IBN. The father of the girl said that he was happy with the verdict and was sure justice would be given. However, he said that they were still angry about one of the accused getting a lesser sentence on account of being a juvenile. "Yes, we always will remain angry with the decision. However, we have faith in the judiciary. Our fight for justice will be on," he said. He said that the entire credit for the court's judgement went to the Delhi Police and the media for standing by the family while they were seeking justice. He also said he hoped all the accused would get the death penalty. "I am going to come with all the hope. I will be alert and will wait to see them being hanged..." he said. 2:20 pm: Four lessons that can be learnt from the Delhi gangrape verdict The Delhi gangrape has offered some lessons on how crimes against women can be handled in India. Read more 2:05 pm: Former Home Secretary also questions time taken to deliver judgement Former Home Secretary RK Singh was in the hot seat when the incident took place and while he welcomed the verdict in the case, he said said that the judgement had perhaps taken too long. Singh said he hoped that the accused would be given the death penalty. "Despite it being a fast track court it took 7 months so need is there to work on that," he told CNN-IBN. He also said that the juvenile accused in the case should be facing the same sentence as the others and said he believed that the age limit should be lowered to 14 since teenagers were maturing faster. 2:00 pm: Defence lawyer says they will seek life sentence for his client Defence Lawyer Vivek Sharma seemed to be the most circumspect after the verdict and said they would seek the minimum possible sentence which in this case would be life imprisonment. "Given that they have been convicted under all sections the minimum sentence in this case is life imprisonment. We will be arguing for this," Sharma said. 1:35 pm: What the judge said while convicting the four accused While convicting the four accused the judge had observed that the four accused had murdered a 'helpless' victim. "I convict all of the accused. They have been found guilty of gang rape, unnatural offences, destruction of evidence and for committing the murder of the helpless victim," NDTV quoted the judge as saying. The judge reportedly also praised the Delhi police for its swift and thorough probe. 1: 30 pm: Former Delhi police chief says he's ecstatic over the verdict Neeraj Kumar, who faced a lot of flak for his handling of the Delhi gangrape incident and the subsequent protests, today said he was ecstatic after the verdict. "I am ecstatic that the court not only convicted them but also praised our probe," the retired police official was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN.  1:25 pm: Leaders welcome verdict CPM's Brinda Karat welcomed the verdict in the Delhi gangrape case but said that even the trial had raised questions about the functioning of the criminal judicial system. "This was an open and shut case...The judgement should not have taken so long," Karat said. Even BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has welcomed the verdict and said the accused should get the maximum punishment: the capital punishment. 1:15 pm: Delhi police official says case made them more sensitive to crimes against women Speaking to CNN-IBN, Joint Commissioner of Police Tejinder Luthra said that the Delhi police had learnt a lot of lessons from the case and would aspire to meet the aspirations of the common man in Delhi. "This case has made us more sensitive to the safety of women and children," Luthra said. The senior police official said that the conviction of the five accused had restored the faith of the common man in the criminal justice system. 1:10 pm:Protest outside Saket court seeking death sentence for accused A group of persons protested outside the Saket court complex today demanding that the four accused be sentenced to death in the case. https://twitter.com/ANI_news/status/377332760194461696 1.07 pm: More on what transpired in the court: * The Fast track court convicted the four guilty by relying on the victim's dying declaration and forensic evidence. * The accused were held guilty of 13 offences including gangrape, unnatural offence, murder, dacoity, conspiracy, kidnapping and destruction of evidence. 1.02 pm: Joy at Delhi gangrape verdict, death sought for victims The first reactions to the verdict in the Delhi gangrape have been joy, but now the general consensus is that the victims should be punished. Speaking to CNN-IBN, family members of the victim said that they want the death sentence for all the four accused. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde meanwhile told media that a death sentence was assured, given that the law had been strengthened. "We have strengthened the law. Death penalty is assured in this case", he said. 12.54pm: Defence lawyer cries foul, claims political pressure A livid defence lawyer has told the media, that his clients were found guilty due to political pressure. "This a clear case of acquittal. But due to political pressure they have sentenced", said AP Singh who represented the accused in court. "The accused are poor powerless people, which is why they have been found guilty", he added. AP Singh also said that the trial was not fair, and two of the accused were not even present at the crime scene 12.38 pm:  All four accused found guilty All four accused in the Delhi gangrape trial have been found guilty under various provisions of the IPC. They have been found guilty of all 12 charges slapped against them.  Arguments for the quantum of sentencing will begin tomorrow at 11am. No one has emerged from the court room yet, says Firstpost reporter Danish Raza who is at the court premises. 12.15 pm: Parents of victim, accused reach court ahead of verdict The parents of the Delhi gangrape victim have arrived in the Saket court ahead of the verdict that is expected to be delivered in a couple of hours. The parents of accused Mukesh Singh are also in the courthouse to hear the verdict. Their other son, Ram Singh who was also an accused in the trial was found dead in his Tihar jail cell. 10.28 am: Verdict on Delhi gangrape postponed to 12.30 pm The verdict on the Delhi gangrape has been postponed to 12.30pm, a delay of two hours. Here is a quick summary of the arguments in this case: The prosecution has relied heavily on scientific evidence to back their case against the accused. It has argued that DNA samples lifted from the crime scene, iron rod used to attack the victims and clothes of the accused, corroborates their case. According to the prosecution, this is the first time in a rape case that dental records to match the bite marks on the victim with that of the accused have been submitted as evidence. Defence: Three of the accused – Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta – barring Mukesh, who is the brother of accused Ram Singh, have argued that they were not present on the bus on the night the crime was committed. Each produced alibis as witnesses who told the court that the accused where at a different place. Akshay Thakur argued that he was not in Delhi, while Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta’s defence was that they were attending a music programme that night. Mukesh, on the other hand, has admitted to being on the bus but denied raping and attacking the girl and her friend. Challenging the defence’s case, the prosecution argued that the “inconsistencies in the facts related by the defence witnesses” and the “absence of credible alibis,” had shown their claim that they were not on the bus to be false. Defence lawyer AP Singh, in his final arguments, accused the Delhi Police of framing the accused and planting evidence on them. The victim’s statement to the magistrate, Singh argued, was a police fabrication. The victim, he claimed, had died much before she had been officially declared to be dead. Read more

10.13 am: Nothing less than death, say parents of gangrape victim Ahead of the verdict that is to be delivered in the case, the parents of the victim have demanded nothing less than death for the four accused. "Any person who can do what they did to my daughter is not a minor. He shouldn’t be treated as one, they all should get death,” says the mother, echoing the victim’s father’s feelings in an interview with CNN-IBN. “We have got financial assistance from the government, people have supported us. But a strong punishment will give justice to my daughter,” Read more 9.50 am: Four accused brought to court in Delhi gangrape case The four accused in the Delhi gangrape, Mukesh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta have been brought to the Delhi fast track court, to hear the verdict in the case. Three of the accused – Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta – barring Mukesh, who is the brother of accused Ram Singh, have argued that they were not present on the bus on the night the crime was committed. Each produced alibis as witnesses who told the court that the accused where at a different place. Akshay Thakur argued that he was not in Delhi, while Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta’s defence was that they were attending a music programme that night. Mukesh, on the other hand, has admitted to being on the bus but denied raping and attacking the girl and her friend. Challenging the defence’s case, the prosecution argued that the “inconsistencies in the facts related by the defence witnesses” and the “absence of credible alibis,” had shown their claim that they were not on the bus to be false. Defence lawyer AP Singh, in his final arguments, accused the Delhi Police of framing the accused and planting evidence on them. There is heavy security at the courts ahead of the verdict. 7.30 am: Delhi gangrape verdict expected today: Will accused be found guilty? A fast-track court in Delhi is expected to deliver the verdict in the 16 December gangrape case which caused nation-wide protests and demands for reforms in India's laws. The accused in the case are Mukesh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta who are accused of the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student and also of attacking her friend on the night of 16 December, 2012. The student succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore.The accused also face charges that include kidnapping, dacoity with murder, unnatural sexual offences, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.

Delhi gangrape case accused being bought to court in a police van. AFP

Delhi gangrape case accused being bought to court in a police van in this file photo.  AFP

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna will deliver the verdict at 10.30 am. However today the court is only to pronounce whether the accused are guilty or not and the sentence will be announced at a later date. The verdict comes a week after the Juvenile accused in the case was found guilty of rape and murder and sentenced to three years to reform home by the Juvenile Justice Board. Three years is maximum term that a juvenile offender can be sentenced to under the Juvenile Justice Act. One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh was found hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail. The case against him was dropped in light of his death. Timeline in the case so far: December 16, 2012: A 23-year-old physiotherapy student raped by six people, including a juvenile, inside a moving bus. December 17: Bus Driver Ram Singh and two other accused arrested. December 18: Protests over the incident, crowds clash with police in central Delhi. Fourth accused arrested. December 19: Two accused brought before a Delhi court. Accused Vinay tell court to “hang him”. December 21: Fifth accused, who claims to be 17-and-a-half-years old, arrested from Anand Vihar in east Delhi. * Accused Akshay Kumar Singh arrested from Bihar. December 22: Gang rape victim records statement before a sub-divisional magistrate. December 23: Fast track court set up by the Delhi High Court. December 24: The government announces setting up of a committee to suggest amendments in law for speedy trials and enhanced punishment for criminals in rape cases. December 27: The victim is airlifted to Singapore for treatment. December 29: She succumbs to her injuries at in Singapore hospital. December 30: Gang rape victim flown back to Delhi, cremated. January 3, 2013: A case of rape, murder, kidnapping, destruction of evidence, and attempted murder filed against all the five accused in the case. January 7: Court orders in-camera trial. January 10: Five accused get lawyers for defence. January 28: Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) Decemberlares that one of the six accused is a minor. February 2: Fast track court paves the way for trial and charges five men for murder, gang rape and other offences. February 3: The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, passed by Lok Sabha March 19 and Rajya Sabha March 21. February 5: Trial begins in the case and court records statements of accused. March 11: Accused Ram Singh found hanging in his Tihar jail cell. May 17: Victim’s mother appears as a prosecution witness before the trial court and says “give justice to my daughter”. June 14: Juvenile accused turns 18 in custody. Age calculated according to school certificate. July 11: JJB in New Delhi defers verdict on minor accused to July 25. July 25: JJB defers verdict on minor accused till August 5. August 22: The Supreme Court allowed the juvenile board to go ahead with pronouncing its verdict after accepting BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea for a fresh interpretation of the term juvenile. August 31: Juvenile Justice Board sentences minor accused to a three-year stay in a special home. September 10: Verdict in trial