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Nirbhaya's four rapists have to die as Supreme Court upholds capital punishment

10 July, 2018, 02:28 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • India’s Supreme Court reaffirms death penalty for ‘diabolical’ assailants in 2012 fatal gang rape

The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed the death penalty granted to the convicts in the gang rape and murder of a paramedical student on 16 December 2012, in New Delhi.

On May 5 a year ago, the top court had upheld the death penalty to the four convicts - Mukesh (29), Pawan (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31), saying the "brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature" of the crime could create a "tsunami of shock" to destroy a civilised society.

"By not imposing a death sentence in such cases, the courts may do injustice to the society at large", Banumathi had said in the judgment.

Former Congress MP and renowned industrialist, Naveen Jindal, said, "Welcome the SC decision dismissing the review petition and upholding death sentence of the rapists".

Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old paramedic, was brutally assaulted and gang-raped in a moving bus in south Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend while returning home after watching a film on the night of December 16, 2012. She succumbed to injuries on 29 December 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. A minor in the case was convicted by the Juvenile Justice Court and served a three year sentence.




Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, who have always pleaded their innocence, had challenged last year's ruling that upheld their death sentence. They can file one last petition with the Supreme Court, and if it's again rejected, they can seek presidential mercy, said A.P. Singh, the defence attorney.

Earlier this year the victim's mother Asha Devi told the media, "It has been six years since the incident and similar incidents are taking place every day". Only three of them were involved in the appeal rejected by the Supreme Court.

Singh, lawyer of two convicts, Pawan and Vinay told ANI he is hopeful that his clients would get justice. The youngest accused, just days short of 18 when he committed the crime, had been sent to a juvenile home.

"Even the Justice Verma Committee, whose recommendations were relied upon to reform the laws on sexual assault and rape, had opposed imposing the death penalty in cases of rape", Asmita Basu, Amnesty International India's Programmes director, was quoted by Business Standard as saying.

The case led to the introduction of the death sentence for raping girls under 12. The accused appealed to the supreme court, which eventually delivered its judgment confirming the death penalty in May 2017.

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