Underlining the “depraved evil mentality” shown by two men who raped and murdered a woman, the Delhi High Court upheld their sentence of life imprisonment and enhanced their punishment to a minimum of 20 years in prison without remission..Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal, while hearing the appeal of the two convicts, highlighted that the deceased had put up a brave resistance before the two convicts, who overpowered her physically, caused grievous injures on her body, raped and strangulated her.“They attempted to erase the evidence by dumping the body on the roadside and extracted her belongings and put them in different locations. Considering the brutality of the act right in heart of Delhi which is usually patrolled by police shows the depraved evil mentality of the appellants who acted with complete impunity with no fear of either the life or consequence of their act and dignity of the deceased victim,” said the judgment authored by Justice Dayal..The two convicts had challenged their life sentence awarded by a trial court on July 1, 2017.The incident dates back to April 2012, when a dead body was found in central Delhi and the identity of the victim was subsequently established. The police acted on secret information to apprehend the two men, who disclosed that they had raped the woman inside a car.Pointing out that the case was solely based on circumstantial evidence, the counsel for the two men contended that no CCTV installed in the area in question was ever checked despite the fact that there were 18 cameras in place. It was also argued that the arrests of the two convicts were manipulated..On the other hand, the prosecutor supported the findings of the trial court and argued that the conviction was rightly based on forensic evidence that led to the car used in the crime. Besides, the phone location of the convicts matched with that of the victim at the relevant point in time.After examining the evidence on record, the Bench highlighted that all critical aspects were consistent and cogent, proving the guilt of the convicts..The Bench referred to the testimony of one of the police witnesses who had reached the scene of the crime and seen the victim’s condition, the subsequent comprehensive scientific analysis including the post mortem, the DNA profile, blood examination, biological examination and the viscera report to hold that the two men had "brutally raped” the deceased in their car.However, the Bench relied on the decision of the apex court in Union of India v. Sriharan to observe,"...the learned Trial Court’s direction awarding the sentence of life imprisonment of not less than 20 years, would therefore be erroneous and beyond its jurisdictional power under the Penal Code."Therefore, the High Court modified the sentencing order and held that the life sentence for the offence under Sections 302 (murder), 34 (common intention) of the IPC will be for “rigorous imprisonment for life not less than 20 years without remission”..Advocates Madhav Khurana and Riya Arora argued for convict Sikander and Advocate Himanshu Anand Gupta for convict Pradeep.Additional Public Prosecutor Shubhi Gupta represented the State.