Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

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

India’s Supreme Court reaffirms death penalty for ‘diabolical’ assailants in 2012 fatal gang rape India's Supreme Court upholds death sentence in Delhi rape case
Glenn Montgomery | 10 July, 2018, 09:35

The judgement was pronounced on a review petition filed by three out of the four convicts against a May 2017 order of the apex court, which had upheld the death sentence of the convicts.

"We always believed that the SC would dismiss the review petition, that's why we hadn't even thought of what future course of action we would take if they had accepted it".

Last year on May 5, the apex court had upheld the death sentences awarded to the four convicts by a trial court and confirmed by the Delhi High Court for raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old para-medical student inside a moving bus.

After 45 minutes she was then dumped on the street with horrific internal injuries, dying as a result of them 13 days later in a Singapore hospital. Their appeals were dismissed by the Delhi High Court, which eventually led to the appeal in Supreme Court.

Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh had challenged the court's 2017 ruling upholding their death penalty. Convicts can not be allowed to re-argue a case in the guise of a review plea, said the court. Of six assailants eventually arrested, the fifth man died in prison in 2013 and the sixth was a juvenile who served his three-year sentence in a youth offender facility.

The fourth did not appeal, but his lawyer said they would soon file one, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

The Supreme Court in May previous year upheld the Delhi High court order of death penalty to four convicts Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay. The only other legal option for the four is through a mercy petition to the President of India.

Asha Devi, mother of the gang-rape victim, addressing the media at the Supreme Court after the verdict on Monday. The death penalty is only on paper as of now.

She said it had been a hard battle - but nothing compared to the 14 days she spent by her daughter's side as she fought and lost the battle for her life, reports the BBC's Divya Arya, who was at court. "I believe sooner they're hanged, better it is", Badrinath Singh, father of 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim quoted as saying.

Delhi Commission for Women's chief Swati Maliwal said that she would issue a notice to the Delhi police and Tihar jail to find out when the execution will take place.

The brutal crime had sparked widespread protests and drew global attention over violence against women in India. "The appetite for sex, the hunger for violence, the position of the empowered and the attitude of perversity to say the least, are bound to shock the collective conscience which knows not what to do".

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