STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 11 November
Two of the death row convicts in 16 December gangrape today contested the trial court’s sentence, which awarded them the death penalty, telling the Delhi High Court that even the father of the nation was against capital punishment.
Convicts Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur today said to a High Court bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani, that awarding death penalty will not stop crime in society and they don’t deserve deterrent punishment in this case.
The High Court is hearing the final arguments on a day-to-day basis on the trial court’s reference to it for confirmation of death sentence awarded to four convicts ~ Mukesh, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay and Akshay as well as their appeals against the trial court’s judgement.
Quoting Gandhi’s statement "I cannot in all conscience agree to any one being sent to the gallows. God alone can take a life because he alone gives it," the duo’s counsel, AP Singh, said death penalty is not the solution to stop crime. "Death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights," said the counsel.
Taking the plea of alibi, the lawyer claimed that his client Vinay was not associated with the incident as he was taking part in a Christmas celebrations that had held in Ravidas colony on the day of incident. "Video footage is also available and the trial court had ignored this evidence," Singh contended.
Urging the court to pass an order for ossification test of his client to find out the real age of Vinay, the counsel claimed that Vinay is a minor and is doing his BA from Delhi University (DU) and the trial court had rejected his plea for verification of his age.