New Delhi: A "unique modus operandi" was adopted by the accused in the December 16 gang rape and murder of 23-year-old girl in a moving bus, the Delhi court on Tuesday said while holding them guilty of 13 offences.
"Accused persons adopted a unique modus operandi to do the acts," additional sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said in his judgement.
"They, besides causing external bodily injuries, inserted the rods in abdomen of the victim. They did this act repeatedly and pulled out internal organs even by their hands..." the court noted.
The judge also observed, "The important aspect of this trial is the manner in which both rods and hands were used for damaging the alimentary canal and pulling it out from the body (of the girl).
"This act of complete destruction of the most vital parts of the body can never be termed as intending to cause bodily injuries and rather it will be act done with intention of causing death."
The court noted that the accused were acting in a premeditated manner and deceived the victims into boarding the bus thinking it is going towards their destination and then humiliated and gang-raped the girl.
After her body became devoid of any resistance, iron rods and hands were inserted into the abdominal cavity, the court noted.
All four accused convicted, sentence later
Holding Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur guilty on the basis of both traditional method and scientific evidence like DNA profiling, the fast track court headed by additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna convicted them on 13 counts.
The quantum of punishment will be decided later by the court which will hear arguments on sentence on Wednesday.
The 237-page judgement, which came six days short of nine months of the incident that shook the nation's conscience, also found complicity of Ram Singh, who was found dead in Tihar jail during the trial.
During the brief proceedings, the judge observed that even though proceedings against Ram Singh (34) were abated on his death, "he is also convicted under same sections (gangrape, murder and other offences)." However, this does not form part of the judgement.
Besides gang rape, murder and conspiracy, the court held Mukesh (26), Vinay Sharma (20), Pawan Gupta (19) and Akshay Thakur (28) guilty of attempt to murder, unnatural offences, dacoity, destruction of evidence, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, while acquitting them of the charge of murder in dacoity.
The court also convicted them for kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confining a person, abducting to subject a person to grievous hurt and slavery, abducting woman to cause her defilement, voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery and dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity.
"The facts of the case make all accused liable for the cold-blooded murder of the defenceless prosecutrix and thus the offence under Section 302 (murder) read with Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC stands proved and the accused persons are thus convicted," the court said.
The court also said "... all the accused in pursuance of the conspiracy committed gang rape with the prosecutrix and thus are convicted under section 376(2)(g) (gangrape) of the IPC with the aide of section 120B IPC.
"It stood established that accused in pursuance of their conspiracy with accused Ram Singh (since deceased) and the JCL (tried by juvenile justice board) committed murder of the victim with an intention to cause her death..."
The December 16 incident in which the paramedic was savagely gang-raped and brutally assaulted led to nationwide streets protest that heralded changes in the law.
The changes provide even for death in the case of rape but the present case was heard under the old provisions of IPC that provides a maximum sentence of life term for rape.