All 4 accused in Delhi rape case guilty: Saket Court

Image: dnaindia.com

The session court in Saket found all four men accused of rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi last December were found guilty. They were found guilty on all 13 counts.

Judge Yogesh Khanna praised the police in their swift action in apprehending the culprits and a thorough probe, while mentioning that the maximum sentence may also be death. The sentencing will take place tomorrow.

A small protest broke out in the premises of the court where people were demanding for the death penalty.

Last month, the youngest accused in the case was sentenced to three years in custody, the maximum penalty for a juvenile, which drew serious flak from protestors.

Follow the story here.

JNU student stabbed by lover

DELHI: Delhi comes under the spotlight again as a 22 year old Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student was stabbed with an axe by her classmate in one of the college classroom, following which the boy committed suicide.

The couple reportedly had an argument where the accused (Akash) suspected the victim, Rohini, was having an affair with someone else after which he stabbed her multiple times. He then consumed poison and also tried to slit his throat.

The boy was rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre where he was declared brought dead. The cause of death was said to be poisoning.

The girl has been admitted to Safdarjung Hospital where she is undergoing surgery. Doctors say that she has suffered head injuries and she is being monitored by neuro-surgeons. Her condition is improving gradually.

Both studied Korean Language in the School Of Languages in JNU. Further investigations are on.

Follow the story here.

Limca pays tribute to the Centennial of the Indian film industry

Indian Cinema has not grown because of the Government, but despite it!”, remarked Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tiwari, while addressing the audience present during the release of the 24th edition of the Limca Book of Records. The book was launched on the 10th day of April, at the FICCI Auditorium, New Delhi and the book’s theme this year celebrates the Centennial of Indian Cinema, while focusing on people who have left their footprints in their respective fields of specialization.

Leading quizmaster Barry O’Brien was the anchor for the event and lived up to his title ‘Master of Ceremonies’ by keeping the audience enthralled and in splits with comments like “Are you related to my wife? She always has counter-questions”. During breaks between the sequence of events, O’Brien tested the audience on their knowledge of the Indian film industry with picture quizzes of the most popular personalities, and asking questions like “Which Indian holds the record of 50,000 fan clubs across the globe?” (Rajnikanth, for the uninitiated). O’Brien then went on to speak about how the book can help people from different backgrounds — teachers, students, quizmasters like himself, film-makers.

A short screening followed, which was a montage of the establishment of 2 decades of Coca-Cola in India, in addition to the 24th edition of the Limca Book of Records. The book boasts of over 10,000 achievements which have been compiled over 20 chapters — all of which weave inspiring stories of people from the film industry who had a thirst for more than just films, and like O’Brien aptly put it, “if the thirst is alive, then the show will go on..”, and how! Stories of not only “stars”, but also photographers, musicians, documentary film-makers, editors, cinematographers, and regional film-makers were just some of the many luminaries who have excelled in their respective fields and found their way to secure a position in the book.

Minister Tiwari was then welcomed with a bouquet of flowers and the ceremonial ‘tankha’, and went on to light the lamp.

Atul Singh, the President of Coca-Cola, South-West Asia, then stepped on to the dais and spoke about how each year, the jury appointed by the company diligently nominates and selects ‘People of the Year’. “Many people have contributed over the years, but we’re honoring just 20 of these people today,” he said. Members of the afore-stated jury include H.K. Dua (Member of Parliament), and film critic of South Indian cinema, Pratibha Sastri.

They say a few passions unite Indians. One of them is cinema.

Following this, a brief tribute was played, to 25 legends that are no longer in our midst, but touched our hearts and lives nonetheless. Some of these magnates included the “Iron Man” Dara Singh, T. Damodaran, A.K. Hangal, Jaspal Bhatti, Gavin Packard, Raj Kanwar, Achala Sachdeva and Jose Prakash. Out of the 20 people honored, 7 were present at the function and were then called on stage to be awarded individually — Actress Shabana Azmi, Director Jahnu Barua, Cinematographers V.K. Murthy and Santosh Sivan, Choreographer Prabhu Deva, Editor Sreekar Prasad and Documentary Filmmaker Mike Pandey.

Mike Pandey, whose film, “The Vanishing Giants”, triggered a campaign, spoke about the urgent need for documentary channels and threw light upon the alarming rate (67%) of Indians who are without information and education. “Dcoumentaries can fill that gap, being agents of change.” Pandey then went on to urge a very poker-faced Manish Tiwari to provide such a platform.

The remaining 13 people couldn’t make it to the event, as each one of them was busy shooting for their respective films — Actors Naseeruddin Shah, Kamal Haasan and Ranbir Kapoor, Directors Mira Nair, Aparna Sen, Mani Ratnam, K. Vishwanath and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Scriptwriter Gulzar, being some of them.

This book, that strings together ‘Indian’ achievements, was launched in 1986. Since then, its objective has remained simple – providing a platform to seemingly “ordinary” Indians to portray their talent[s] in their search for excellence. Since its inception, the book has been an amalgamation of sorts – combining thrills with humor in equal measures, but simultaneously informative and perhaps even inspiring.

Twenty-eight-year-old Mangalorean, Vilas Naik painted a magnified version of the Book, within 3mins.
Twenty-eight-year-old Mangalorean, Vilas Naik painted a magnified version of the Book, within 4mins.

Driver of bus in Delhi rape case commits suicide

A police van carrying five men accused of the gang rape and murder of an Indian student leaves a court in New Delhi

 

11.03.2013, Delhi | The wee hours of Monday saw Ram Singh, prime accused in the “Nirbhaya” rape case, hang himself within his cell at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. CNN-IBN reported that he used his own clothes to take his life. One of the six accused in the brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapist in December last year, Singh faced as many as 13 criminal charges against him, including death penalty in rarest of rare cases.

While many people are happy with these turn of events, many more are disappointed – that the 33-year-old didn’t go through the entire judicial process and instead took the law within his own hands, negligence of the jail’s authorities, and the judicial system’s failure at serving justice.

Being India’s highest security prison, the authorities at Tihar are likely to face tough questions as to how such an incident could have taken place.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/03/11/delhi-rape-accused-driver-ram-singh-suic-idINDEE92A00720130311

 

The Black Dot Syndrome

Justice JS Verma committee submits report
Justice Verma speaks at a press conference in New Delhi

The aftermath of the Delhi gang rape case cause a flurry of events with the government going berserk with the sudden shift in mood of the otherwise peaceful country. Successfully, it appeased the public by announcing a committee to modify frail laws against violence.

The Justice JS Verma Committee painstakingly made amendments to the existing criminal laws. They sought to tackle sexual violence armed with the 1,600 page report submitted within a record time of 29 days in the hope to deter sexual predators. Sifting over 80,000 recommendations, the aim was to safeguard the interests of women.

But all in vain.

The ordinance that was passed on the third of January contains lacunae that the committee itself is displeased with. The government’s changes harass the prevalence of justice and do little to sooth the agitated public in the wake of the 23-year old who succumbed to the injuries of rape and battering on a moving bus in December.

Highlights of the recommendations made by a distinguished panel like Justice Leila Seth, Justice JS Verma and former Solicitor General of India, Gopal Subramanium were crassly ignored by the government.

The standout point of the recommendations was the removal of ‘death penalty’ accorded to the rapist killers, but the government thought otherwise. By introducing the death penalty, activists say, that rapists now have a motive to murder their victims so as to prevent them from testifying in court.

The ordinance signed by President Pranab Mukherjee is indifferent to key nuances of sexual violence like marital rape. It proposes lesser criminal implications if the perpetrator is the husband and the victim is the wife, even in case of separation. This grossly comments on the ill state of mind that the government has toward this emotive issue.

Furthermore the government refuses to concede to the amendment made to instances of rape by public servants and armed personnel. Prior sanctions as is protocol to the existing laws result in delayed justice.

The government refused to recognize rape in special circumstances such as Army rule or communal riots. With Soni Sori’s case and the scores of rape reports in Kashmir, the North Eastern states and during the 2002 Gujarat Riots, there are loopholes yet to be filled.

The ordinance did not acknowledge the removal of the ‘two-finger’ test done on alleged rape victims for evidence.

So has the brutality really stopped?

One can only question. Adding to the apathy, it does not include stripping, torturing and sexual humiliation of lower caste women in the ambit of sexual violence.

Thus, the ordinance passed by the government, simply put is eyewash. The hurriedness with which it acted to implement the changes has resulted in a highly contradictory and confused statement of law. By ignoring proposed reforms such as the installation of GPS in police vans and PCRs, the government is merely scratching the surface of India’s fastest growing crime. It is much likely to continue to do so ignoring the fervent cries of a scared public.

The government’s actions are like the Black Dot statement that trended on Facebook. On two levels it serves as a remark. On one hand it is a mark of insult on the government’s inability to act maturely and on the other, it acts on similar lines posing as an intermediate solution with more problems than solutions.

 

Delhi Rape Trial: Victim’s Friend Cross-Examined

Defense lawyers started the cross-examination of the key eye-witness, the male companion of the victim in court today. The witness has identified the bus in which the crime had taken place and testified against the five accused who have pleaded not guilty to all the charges including rape and murder.

The hearing took place at the fast track court in the Saket Court Complex and the first set of 88 witnesses were deposed before court. This included eye-witnesses, police officials, and doctors who had treated the physiotherapy student. The prosecution hopes to finish examining witnesses within the month. The cross-examination of the male friend will be continued on Thursday.

The judge has banned all reporting of proceedings inside the courtroom and has ordered the lawyers not to talk to the journalists.

The fast-track courts are on course so far with the process of the trial but the victim’s family is not happy that the juvenile accused will be tried separately. The victim’s brother believes the law should be amended so that the juvenile can be hanged along with the other attackers.

The five accused and one juvenile may or may not be punished in accordance to the gruesome crimes they have committed. With the support of the government and other law machinery, this case looks like an open-and-shut case. Yet, the defense lawyers have pleaded not guilty on behalf of his clients.This may be a sign of things to come, later in the course of trial.

The bus in which the crime took place was brought to court.
The bus in which the crime took place was brought to court.

 

Indifferent to protests, Modi promotes Gujarat

Social and political leader, Gopal Krishna Gokhale had famously said, “What Bengal thinks today, India will think tomorrow.” Narendra Modi may want to replace Bengal with Gujarat in today’s time.

Even as protests continued outside Shri Ram College in Delhi on Wednesday, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi used this platform to talk about the Gujarat Development model. For every achievement in the State, he embedded a hope for India’s tomorrow. Modi also said that his focus was on development politics and not vote bank, which has ‘ruined’ the Nation.

Read the whole speech – http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Gujarat-model-of-governance-good-for-rest-of-country-Modi/Article1-1007622.aspx

 

A file picture of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
A file picture of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.