HC up­holds life term to 5 for rap­ing Dan­ish woman, says DNA re­port clinch­ing ev­i­dence

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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.

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