Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Indian Supreme Court orders Nirbhaya's rapists to hang

Nirbhaya's mother and father protest Nirbhaya's mother and father protest
Ray Hunter | 10 July, 2018, 09:37

The apex court, which dismissed the review pleas filed by three of the four death row convicts of the sensational December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, said the courts can not be held for committing any illegality in awarding capital punishment in "appropriate cases" till death penalty remains in the penal code.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan was hearing the review plea filed by Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23).

A lawyer for the men, A.P. Singh, told reporters at the courthouse after the verdict that "injustice" had been done to the convicted murderers - using the Hindi word for "boys" to describe them - and the court had caved to public and political pressure to uphold the death penalty. It said the convicts were heard elaborately during appeals and no grounds have been made out for review of its verdict.

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.

She was dumped on the streets after 45 minutes with horrific internal injuries, and died 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. The four convicts-Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay-were awarded death sentence by a Delhi trial court in 2013.

"The death sentence had been confirmed by the Supreme Court sometime back and this was a review petition".

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Rejecting the arguments the chief justice said: "What are you arguing.Please make a case for review". The juvenile convicted in the case by the Juvenile Justice Board was released from a reform home after serving a three-year term. "The stringent measures taken by our government are working and will act as a strong deterrent for the perpetrators of such heinous crimes", she said.

The convicts still have the option to file a curative petition in the Supreme Court and send mercy petitions to the President of India.

While one accused, Ram Singh, killed himself in jail on 11 March 2013, the remaining four were awarded death penalty by a Delhi court on 10 September, 2013. However, she said full justice would be ensured once the decision - now "on paper" - is finally implemented.

Interestingly, the committee was opposed to the death penalty as a punishment - even in the rarest of the rare cases.

The victim's father said he was happy about justice done to his late daughter.

The incident took place in Munirka, South Delhi. The verdict has come after Centre in April had approved an ordinance introducing the death penalty for those convicted for raping girls aged 12 years or younger.

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