New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment till death to a 22-year-old man for raping and murdering an 81-year-old woman at her south Delhi residence two years ago.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain sent Neeraj Safi, domestic help in the house of the elderly woman, to jail for life, saying his act was "brutal and diabolic".
The court, however, refused to award death sentence to Safi considering his age and clean antecedents.
"In the instant case, the convict not only committed the vile act upon the victim but also strangled her to death... He set the victim on fire after cutting pieces of mattress and using kerosene oil. The act of the convict was brutal and diabolic," said the court.
It added: "Keeping in view facts and circumstances of the case, I sentence the convict to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life or death."
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 18,000 on him considering his poor background.
Safi, a resident of Madhubani in Bihar was the victim's servant. He raped and killed her in her Greater Kailash-II house on July 7, 2014. On January 31, the court convicted Safi of rape, murder and destruction of evidence.
Police had sought death sentence for Safi, saying he did not deserve any sympathy as he was a "menace" to the society.
According to the police, the woman's post-mortem examination report revealed that she was strangulated with a dupatta, beaten up and later set on fire.
The woman's husband was a journalist who worked for a reputed Indian news agency and died in 2005.