Nirbhaya Gangrape Case:Supreme Court upholds the earlier verdict of death sentence
On March 13, 2014, the Delhi High Court had upheld the decision by the court, after which the convicts had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the HC judgement.
Nearly five years after a 23-year-old medical student on her way home from a movie was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus in Delhi, the Supreme Court has confirmed death for four convicts.
A three-member bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice R. Banumathi said the aggravating circumstances against Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur far outweighed the mitigating circumstances cited in their favour.
On March 13, 2014, the Delhi High Court had upheld the decision by the court, after which the convicts had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the HC judgement. The apex court on May 27 reserved its verdict on the pleas of the convicts.
On December 16 2012, a 23-year old physiotherapist was brutally raped by six men inside a moving bus. The victim succumbed to injuries 13 days later in a hospital in Singapore. One of the convict Ram Singh was found dead inside Tihar Jail in March 2013, while another, a juvenile at the time of the crime, was sentenced to a maximum of 3 years sentence inside a juvenile home.
While Delhi police had sought for a death penalty against the convicts, describing the crime as falling into "rarest of rare" cases, the defense lawyer had asked for a reduced sentence on the grounds of poor background and young age of the convicts.
Ram Singh, the bus driver, was found hanging in his cell in Tihar jail in March 2013, months before they were convicted. Last August, Vinay Sharma had also allegedly tried to commit suicide. The sixth convict was just months short of 18 when he participated in the horrific crime.
He walked out of a correction home in December 2015 after spending three years - the maximum punishment for minors - sparking public outrage and an overhaul of the juvenile law. Now, a juvenile between 16 and 18 years can be treated as an adult if they commit a heinous crime.
In 2015, the four had also been sentenced to 10 years in jail for a robbery that the police was able to link to them after their arrest for the gang-rape. An appeal against this conviction is pending in the high court.