Nirbhaya’s rapists will hang as Supreme Court rejects review

Erika Holt
July 10, 2018

The Saket fast-track court had awarded death penalty for four convicts of the Nirbhaya rape case, which was upheld by the Delhi HC in 2017.

The apex court dismissed the review petitions filed by three of the four convicts Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24) and Vinay Sharma (25), saying no ground has been made out by them for a review of the top court verdict of May 5 past year.

The court also said that the hearing on the appeals against the Delhi High Court judgement confirming the death sentence lasted 38 days as the lawyers for the four convicts were given full opportunity to state their case.

Justice Bhushan said that "the ambit and scope of a review petition is well-defined and can only be entertained if there is judicial fallibility, miscarriage of justice and error apparent in the earlier apex court judgment", The Hindu reported.

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

The victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapist, was gang-raped by six persons, including a juvenile, in Delhi in a moving chartered bus on December 16, 2012.

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Ms Singh was dumped on the streets 45 minutes later and died from her internal injuries 13 days after the attack in a Singapore hospital. 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 convicts now have another legal option - to file a curative petition. A Delhi trial court had awarded the death penalty to Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay. The trio had then filed review pleas against sentence.

The defendants" lawyer A. P. Singh "injustice" had been meted out to his clients under "political and media pressure'. Only three of them were involved in the appeal rejected by the Supreme Court.

"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.

One of the accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide while in jail. However, the Centre amended the rape law to introduce the death penalty as the maximum punishment in gang rape cases.

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

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