HC upholds life term to 5 for raping Danish woman, says DNA report clinching evidence
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court upheld the life term awarded to five convicts for gangraping a 52-year-old Danish woman in 2014. HC said the most important scientific evidence, that is, the DNA report, was the clincher in the case.
Originally, there were nine accused: while one died during the trial, three were declared juvenile. A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta, however, took a dim view of the lapse on the part of the investigating officer in not preparing a proper site plan of the crime, saying this was “very important” as it was very rare that there were witnesses to such crimes other than the victim.
The bench noted that the foreigner was raped for five hours in a secluded area, but the police failed to recreate the crime scene in its chargesheet. It dismissed the appeal of the convicts challenging their conviction and jail term of life imprisonment till death, awarded by a trial court in 2016. The trial court had awarded the maximum punishment, while making it clear that rigorous imprisonment for life meant jail till re- mainder of natural life of the convicts — Mahender alias Ganja (25), Mohd Raja (23), Raju (23), Arjun (21) and Raju Chakka (30).
“In view of the victim’s evidence, corroborated by the Arakas hanRoad DB Gupt a Road Crime Spot DNA report, this court is satisfied that the conclusion of the trial court on the guilt of the accused is correct. Accordingly, the appeals are dismissed (sic),” the bench noted, even as it rejected the testimo- Hotel Amaxx Inn New Delhi Railway Station ny of an eyewitness, who claimed to have seen the accused committing the crime, saying he could not be accepted as a natural witness.
“Carelessness of the IO is seen in undertaking the in- vestigation of the case,” the bench observed. Additional public prosecutor Amit Chadha had told the court that DNA of all the accused matched with the samples taken from other articles belonging to the survivor and the woman was examined in the trial court over 18 months after the incident, so some indulgence must be granted.
The court rejected the argument of the convicts that the prosecution had manipulated the evidence under media pressure. It said the DNA profile connected the convicts with the crime and there was also a similarity in the forensic report sent by the Danish authorities and the DNA report prepared in India.
“If the accused’s DNA has been found on the top which the victim was wearing at the time of the incident, it is for the accused to explain how it reached there,” it pointed out.
“It is a miracle that the DNA profiling has matched. Otherwise, this case would have gone nowhere,” the bench observed while hearing arguments on the appeals. It noted that the survivor stood firm during her cross-examination by the counsel for the accused before the trial court.