New Delhi: The men convicted of raping and torturing a medical student on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012 will hang, the Supreme Court ruled today, confirming its earlier decision and rejecting the request of three of four convicts for their sentence to be reduced to a life term. The top court was asked to reconsider its own ruling in a review plea; the convicts are left with one more legal option of challenging their sentence before they appeal to the President for mercy.
An SC bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan rejected the pleas of three of the four convicts Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23). The condemned prisoners are now left with option of filing a curative plea in the SC and a mercy plea before the President to prevent death.
Nirbhaya was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in South Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
“This decision reaffirms our trust in the court that we will definitely get justice,” said Asha Devi, mother of the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim on the SC’s dismissal of the accused’s review petition.
The SC’s ruling today ends the six-year ordeal for Nirbhaya’s parents and they want to see further action as soon as possible.
“We knew that review petition will be dismissed. But what next? So much time has gone by and threat to women have gone up in this span. I believe sooner they’re hanged, better it is,” said Nirbhaya’s father Badrinath Singh.
Nirbhaya’s mother concurred.
“Our struggle does not end here. Justice is getting delayed. It’s affecting other daughters of the society. I request judiciary to tighten their judicial system, serve justice to Nirbhaya by hanging them as soon as possible and help other girls and women,” she said.
The fourth death row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh (31), has not yet filed a review petition against the apex court’s May 5, 2017 judgement. Advocate A P Singh, representing Akshay, said he will be filing a review petition.
The apex court in its May 2017 verdict upheld the capital punishment awarded to the four convicts by the Delhi high court (HC) and the trial court in the case of gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student on December 16, 2012.
“Death penalty is cold-blooded killing in the name of justice,” said the three convicts’ counsel AP Singh, when making his plea to the SC.