Calling their crime ‘most brutal, barbaric and diabolical’, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the death sentence for the four men convicted of the rape and murder of the 23-year-old paramedical student onboard a bus on December 16, 2012. The death sentence was awarded to them by a trial court and later confirmed by the High Court.
The case, which prompted nationwide protests and led to a change in rape laws was the ‘rarest of rare’, the court said as it dismissed appeals filed by the convicts Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh. The three-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Mishra, Ashok Bhushan and R Banumathi said, in two separate judgements, that the appellants deserved the death sentence.
In one, Justices Dipak Mishra and Ashok Bhushan minced few words while upholding the extreme punishment for the appellants. “It is necessary to state here that in the instant case, the brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature of the crime is evincible from the acts committed by the accused persons…The casual manner with which she was treated and the devilish manner in which they played with her identity and dignity is humanly inconceivable.
“It sounds like a story from a different world where humanity has been treated with irreverence. The appetite for sex, the hunger for violence, the position of the empowered and the attitude of perversity, to say the least, are bound to shock the collective conscience which knows not what to do,” the judges said in their order.
The judges rejected the appellants’ plea that they were poor, were married with young children, had aged parents and were on the reformative path in prison.