New Delhi: While many courts in Canada often bend over backwards to give a way out to even the most heinous criminals, leaving victims bewildered, other jurisdictions view horrible crimes as fit for the harshest punishments. A court here Wednesday awarded death penalty to three men convicted in the rape-murder of a 19-year-old woman in 2012, observing that the crime committed by them “shakes the conscience of society” and falls under the “rarest of the rare” category.
The court Feb 13 convicted Ravi Kumar, Rahul and Vinod on various charges dealing with kidnapping, rape, murder and destruction of evidence.
Awarding death sentence to the three men, Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat observed that the case falls under the “rarest of rare” category. He also slapped a fine of Rs.1.60 lakh on each of them.
“The convicts shall be hanged till death,” the judge said, noting that the convicts were involved in two distinct heinous offence calling for the capital punishment. The three convicts, present in the court when the judge read out the sentence, did not show any reaction.
The victim’s family was also present during the hearing. Some of them even clapped loudly in the packed courtroom, but were pulled up by the judge.
The victim’s father said: “The guilty got the right punishment for their barbaric act. It will send a strong message to the society.”
The three convicts on Feb 9, 2012, kidnapped the victim while she was returning to her Qutub Vihar house in south Delhi from office. After four days, the woman’s body was found in in neighbouring Haryana. Her body bore multiple injuries on head and other parts.
Police said Ravi Kumar committed the crime with the help of the two – all residents of the same neighbourhood – as he was outraged over the woman’s refusal to befriend him. The three were arrested Feb 13, 2012.
Police said the three men used a car jack and an earthen pot to kill the woman.
Terming that crime committed by the offender as “ghastly, brutal and grotesque” in nature, the court said the “extreme sense of brutality and depravity” the accused showed towards the victim would be viewed with “abhorrence and indignation” by the society.
“The crime committed by the convicts undoubtedly falls in that class which shake the conscience of society and call for harshest punishment,” the court said.
“The perpetrators of crimes like rape and murder forfeit their right to live. The life imprisonment is highly inadequate in these cases and there is no alternative but to impose death sentence,” the court said.
Observing that in the recent past, society has seen a steep increase in the incidents of sexual assault on woman, particularly minor girls, the court said the time has come when the courts should deal with such heinous crime sternly in order to send a strong message to the society.
Describing it as an “obnoxious act of the highest order”, the court said that the victim was hardly in a position to resist the sinister acts of the convicts.
In his verdict, the judge also said that crimes like rape and murder has have greater impact upon the social order and said “public interest cannot be lost sight of and hence these offences per se require exemplary treatment”.
“If any benefit is sought to be given to the convicts on this score, it would amount to acknowledging that killing a girl after raping her is not a serious crime,” it said, adding “this would encourage the rapists to kill their victims in order to escape being caught or identified having the belief in their minds that law is on their side and they are not going to be hanged”.
“Given the increase in cases of rape and murder throughout the country, I feel that the time has come when the killing of victim by the rapist after rape, even if it is aimed only to avoid identification should be viewed very seriously and the perpetrators should not be spared of the gallows,” the court said.
The court rejected the convicts’ plea seeking leniency.
The defence argued that the the convict Vinod was 19 years old, while the other accused, Ravi, was 22 years at the time of the crime and third accused, Rahul, was 24 years old.
The defence requested the court to give them a chance to reform. But the court did not relent.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.