The Supreme Court of India today upheld the death sentence to four convicts in December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya Gangrape Case — Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra and comprising of Justices R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan. While pronouncing the verdict Justice Dipak Misra said modern methods were used in the investigation and a criminal conspiracy by the convicts was established, according to CNN-New 18. Justice Misra also said that the Dying Declaration of Nirbhaya was “beyond doubt”, while pronouncing that the CCTV footage was correct.
The case dates back to December 16, 2012 when six people gang raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in a moving bus in Delhi. The woman had succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012. The incident shocked and enraged the entire country.
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One of the accused, Ram Singh had hanged himself in prison, while another person, who was a juvenile at the time of the crime, was convicted in August last year and ordered to serve a maximum sentence of three years in a reform house. He was released in December 2015 from a detention home at Majnu Ka Tila in North Delhi. Later, he was reportedly rehabilitated in the southern part of the country.
Earlier a trial court had sentenced to death four accused — Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh — which they had challenged in the Delhi High Court. However, when the Delhi High Court upheld the order, the accused moved the Supreme Court.
The apex court had on March 27 reserved its verdict on the appeals of four convicts against their conviction and death penalty awarded to them by the Delhi High Court on March 13, 2014.
It was expected that the top court would not grant relief to the accused as Justice Dipak Misra doesn’t hesitate to give a death sentence and is exceedingly sensitive to women’s rights and liberties, according to ANI.
Justice Misra upheld rape as depravity and not curable and recently passed a woman-friendly judgement saying that “no woman can be compelled to love; she always has right to say no”.
Crime against women is rampant in the National Capital. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), crime against women went up in Delhi in 2015 compared to 2014. There was a total of 17,104 recorded cases of crime against women in 2015 compared to 15,265 in 2014. (ANI)
(With inputs from agencies)