New Delhi: Five men, who along with four others were accused of kidnapping and gangraping a 52-year-old Danish woman at knife-point near the New Delhi railway station two years ago, were held guilty by a city court on Monday.
While pronouncing the judgement, Additional Sessions Judge Ramesh Kumar II said "All (five) accused are held guilty for all offences."
The court fixed 9 June for hearing arguments on quantum of sentence in the case in which, under the new law, the offence of gangrape entails a minimum jail term of 20 years and a maximum of imprisonment till remainder of natural life.
The judge convicted Mahender alias Ganja (27), Mohd Raja (23), Raju (24), Arjun (22) and Raju Chakka (23), all of whom were present in the court.
They were held guilty for the offences under sections 376 (D) (gang rape), 395 (dacoity), 366(kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
The sixth accused, 56-year-old Shyam Lal had died in February this year and proceedings against him were abated.
Three others are juveniles and the inquiry against them is in progress before the Juvenile Justice Board.
According to the prosecution, the five men had robbed and gangraped the Danish tourist at knife-point on the night of 14 January, 2014, after leading her to a secluded spot close to the Divisional Railway Officers' Club near the Railway Station.
The woman had come to India on 1 January, 2014, and stayed in Delhi for a couple of days before leaving for Agra. After visiting several places, she returned to the national capital on 13 January, 2014, and stayed in a hotel in Paharganj near the railway station.
On the next day when she was returning to her hotel, she lost her way and asked one of the accused for directions when the men waylaid and gangraped her.
The verdict was welcomed by Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava who said that with the decision, a good message would be sent to the society.
"It is a good message for the whole society especially for people who are abroad that if anything wrong happens to them in India, the law is there to protect and do justice to them," he said.
Legal aid counsel Dinesh Sharma, who represented all the accused, said he would file an appeal against the judgement before the Delhi High Court.
During the hearing, the court was informed that the defence counsel had challenged its previous order dismissing a plea seeking to examine some doctors as witnesses on the potency issue of Shyam Lal.
The court, however, said nowhere in the application it was mentioned that the proceedings of this court had been stayed by the Delhi High Court.
"Hence, this court is not barred from passing the order," the judge said.