Wave Of Joy In Nirbhaya's Village After Supreme Court Order

Geraldine Edwards
July 10, 2018

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. He also said that the convicts can not re-argue their case in the guise of a review petition.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan junked the pleas against the death sentence by Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23), saying there is no ground to reconsider the verdict.

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. Among the guilty the under 18 man was sent to juvenile prison and released after three years while Ram Singh killed himself in prison.

All convicts maintain their innocence, but only three of them were involved in the appeal rejected by India's Supreme Court on Monday. His lawyer had claimed that his client was being framed.

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On December 16, 2012, six people gang-raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in a moving bus in Delhi. She succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

"All the three dying declarations having been relied (on) by trial court, high court and this court and all arguments attacking the dying declarations having been considered and rejected, in its judgment dated May 5, 2017, we are of the view that the petitioner can not be allowed to re-agitate the same issues which were already considered and expressly rejected by this court", the bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, said. "Even after today, they can still appeal further, so we don't know how long we will have to fight".

May 2017: The Supreme Court upholds the high court's decision to give them death sentences.

The case put the treatment of women in India in the global spotlight and led to heavier sentences for sex crimes.

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But activists say this is just the tip of the iceberg as many victims are afraid to report the crimes due to threats by perpetrators or the social stigma attached to sexual assaults.

The Indian chapter of the Amnesty International said procedural and institutional reforms are needed to curb the crimes against women.

"The convicts must be immediately hanged to death", he said.

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