Convicting the two accused Manoj Shah and Pradeep Kumar of gangrape, Karkardooma Court in Delhi on Saturday fixed January 30 to argue on the quantum of sentence in the 2013 rape case of a 5-year-old girl. The victim was raped just four months after the horrific Nirbhaya rape case which shocked the entire nation. Moreover the convicts attacked a female journalist and tried to snatch her mobile phone while coming out of the court, as seen in visuals.
While reading the verdict, the court said,"The child, who was just 5 years old, experienced exceptional depravity and extreme brutality. In our society, minor girls are worshipped as a goddess". While Nirbhaya's rapists were convicted within a year, the accused in this gangrape have been convicted after six years.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, the counsel said, "The barbarity which Nirbhaya faced was faced by gudiya too. We hope that the court will mete out the harshest punishment. The court has charged the convicts under the POSCO act of rape, kidnapping, tampering with evidence." The victim's father too has asked for the death penalty for the convicts, adding, "Though trial should have been completed in 2 yrs, we are happy we got justice after 6 years.
The two convicts -Manoj Shah and Pradeep Kumar - raped the 5-year-old girl in Delhi's Gandhi Nagar area and shoved objects in her private parts on April 15, 2013. After committing the crime, both men had left the victim at Manoj's room believing her to be dead. The child was rescued 40 hours later on April 17, 2013. They were arrested by Delhi police from Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga in Bihar and sent to judicial custody in May 2013.
While the charges were framed against them by the court on July 11 the same year, it took more than five years to complete recording of the statement of 57 prosecution witnesses in a Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) court. The trial which ran from July 24, 2013, to October 26, 2018, in POSCO court, when Pradeep claimed he was juvenile. Soon the Delhi High Court declared him not a juvenile and he was trialed with the final arguments argued till December 2019.