New Delhi: A youth, convicted for gangraping his friend's wife along with four others including her husband, has been sentenced to ten years in jail by a Delhi court which awarded him the minimum jail term prescribed for the offence, saying the crime was committed in a state of drunkenness.
Out of the five arrested accused, three turned out to be juvenile, including the victim's husband, so the enquiry against them is being conducted before Juvenile Justice Board.
The two adult accused Sanjay and Suresh Kumar were tried before the Sessions court. Suresh was held guilty of gangrape, whereas Sanjay was acquitted as there was no incriminating evidence against him and the victim in her testimony has also totally "exculpated" him.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said that there is every possibility for Suresh's reformation as there is nothing on record to show that the accused reached there with an intention to rape the victim, it was only when they got "drunk" their "sexual desire" aroused and they committed the crime.
"No doubt that the offence committed by convict (Suresh) is intensely grave, barbaric and brutal in nature, still I find that his being drunk at that time is a mitigating factor in his favour which persuades me not to inflict any sentence of imprisonment upon him which is greater than the minimum prescribed for the offence of gangrape.
"He is 26 years of age and has clean past antecedents. No case of his involvement in any criminal activity in past has been brought to my notice by the prosecution. I feel that the offence was committed by the convict in a state of drunkenness and there is every possibility for his reformation," the judge said.
According to the prosecution on July 9, 2012 her husband, and four others were consuming liquor at the farm house, where he used to stay with his wife and two children.
"Her husband came to her and told her that he has taken money from these persons and she has to sleep with them. She became angry and told her husband that she would not spend the night with any stranger. On this, her husband beat her and left the room," the prosecution said.
During those days, the victim's husband was working in a poultry farm at Surakhpur road and they were residing in a room of the poultry farm.
The police said thereafter the accused took turns to rape and threatened her that in case she narrated the incident to any person, they will kill her as well as her two daughters.
"It has come in the testimony of the prosecutrix (victim) that her husband, the convict and other persons were taking liquor in their room, immediately before the incident.
"It is after consuming liquor that sexual desire aroused in the mind of the convict and his associates and they offered money to the husband of the victim in lieu of permission to sleep with the victim, which he refused," the court observed, adding that the husband then lost consciousness.
The judge said that the convict had come to the room of the victim only to have a liquor session.
"The victim was not present there at that time. There is no evidence on record to suggest that the convict had reached there with the intention of raping or gang raping the victim.
"It appears that after getting heavily drunk, sexual desire aroused in the convict and his associate and they gang raped the victim," the judge said.