New Delhi: A 22-year-old youth has been sentenced to life term for raping a 77-year-old woman in the capital by a Delhi court which observed that the case was a glaring example that "no woman is safe, whatever her age".

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Sanjeev Kumar refused to show any leniency to Bhola Aadivasi, a rickshaw puller who hails from Madhya Pradesh, and convicted him for raping the elderly woman passenger who is "more than the age of his grandmother" on March 11, last year.

"This conduct of the convict can create shock waves in the thousands of other ladies passengers, whether they are safe in city like Delhi to go alone while commuting by different modes of transport like the rickshaw," the ASJ said.

"This case is a glaring example that no woman is safe, whatever her age. In this case, prosecutrix is an old lady of 77 years of age, whereas convict is of the age of just 22 years.
Thus the prosecutrix is more than the age of his grandmother. But even then this has not deter the convict to commit rape with a helpless and old lady," the ASJ said.

The court also convicted Bhola for injuring the woman, hurting her by means of poison and criminal intimidation.

The court said the woman passenger sat on the rickshaw trusting she will be dropped to her destination but Bhola had "different intentions" and used a cloth containing poisonous or stupefying substance to make her unconscious and took her to a secluded place to commit the crime.

The judge said the act of the convict was so "ghastly and inhuman" that it cannot be condoned and lighter sentence cannot be imposed.

"Therefore, in my view Bhola is not only required to be punished with severe sentence, as he committed such a heinous crime with the woman, but court is also required to send a message to all such persons, so that, it could deter them to do such things. Both these goals can be achieved through proper sentencing," the ASJ said.

The court noted that Bhola not only raped the woman but also beat her up due to which she had to remain hospitalised for many days.

Police had told the court that on March 11, 2011 the woman had come to her sister's house at Rohini and while returning from there for Rohini Metro Station, she took the Bhola's rickshaw.

"Bhola Aadivasi instead took the woman to the secluded place, near Japanese Park, where he not only committed rape but also gave severe beatings to her," the judge noted.

The police had said that two persons found her weeping in the bushes of Japanese Park on the next morning and took her to her house from where she was taken a hospital.

Bhola at the time of sentencing sought leniency saying he was an illiterate person and "does not know the consequences of the act".

He said his entire life was ahead of him and has old parents and a younger brother to look after and he is the only bread winner of his family.

The ASJ, however, refused his plea saying "in my view convict deserves no leniency, despite the fact that he is a young man of only 22 years of age or has old parents to look after."