India’s supreme court upholds death penalty for 2012 Delhi gang-rape convicts

10 July, 2018, 15:54 | Author: Donnie King
  • India’s Supreme Court reaffirms death penalty for ‘diabolical’ assailants in 2012 fatal gang rape

The convicts in the December 16 gangrape and murder case will hang, the Supreme Court said on Monday, reaffirming the death sentence of three of the four death row convicts and holding that "no grounds" have been made out to review the top court's decision a year ago to give them capital punishment.

The fourth convict, Akshay had not filed a review petition against the apex court's 5 May 2017 judgement.

Explaining that review jurisdiction is exercised by the court in case of "glaring omission or injustice", justice Ashok Bhushan decreed that the present case did not disclose any ground for interfere.

Gallows await the four convicts in the gruesome Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case as the Supreme Court on Monday rejected review petitions filed by three of them, asserting that no grounds have been made out by them for review of the death sentence.

On December 16, 2012, 23-year-old Jyoti Singh, a paramedic student, was gangraped in a moving bus in New Delhi by six men including a juvenile.

Singh was dumped on the streets 45 minutes later with horrific internal injuries, and died 13 days later in a Singapore hospital.

Of the six people arrested, one committed suicide in prison in 2013, while the juvenile was sentenced to three years in a reform facility and released in 2015. "I believe sooner they're hanged, better it is", Badrinath Singh, father of 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim quoted as saying.

A panel entrusted with reviewing legislation rejected public appeals for the death penalty for rape but boosted the jail terms to 20 years. If that fails, their last legal option is to file a mercy plea before the President.

In 2016, there were around 40,000 rapes reported in India - up 60 percent from 2012, according to government data, and more cases go unreported, activists say.

The gang rape of an eight-year-old girl from a Muslim nomadic community in January has sparked more protests.

The girl from the northern Jammu region died after being kidnapped, drugged and gang raped by several men for days at a Hindu temple. However, the Centre amended the rape law to introduce the death penalty as the maximum punishment in gang rape cases.

The four convicts-gym instructor Vinay Sharma (23), bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Thakur (31), fruit-seller Pawan Gupta (22) and unemployed Mukesh Singh (29)-had then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Reacting to the judgement, Delhi Commission for Women's chief, Swati Maliwal, said, "Welcome SC decision on Nirbhaya matter of upholding the death penalty to rapists".

Out of the 371 death row convicts in 2017, 43 were awarded the punishment for crimes involving fatal sexual assaults.



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