Nirbhaya Gangrape: The Four Year Long Legal Battle


New Delhi: The apex court has finally delivered its verdict in the infamous Nirbhaya gangrape case which shook the nation. A timeline of the events that unfolded in the legal battle.

December 16, 2012: Nirbhaya and her friend boarded a bus from Delhi’s Munirka area. Six men, including the 17-year-old juvenile, gang-rape a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in a moving bus. Her friend was brutally beaten up.

December 18, 2012: A total of four accused arrested, including bus driver and main accused Ram Singh, search on for two others. Ram Singh’s brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta were other accused in the case.

December 23, 2012: Protests sparked by an outraged nation. Students gathered at India Gate and Jantar Mantar defying prohibitory orders. Police resorted to water canons and tear gas shells.

December 24, 2012: Two gangrape accused brought before a Delhi court and they admitted that they had committed a horrible crime and “deserved to be hanged”.

December 29, 2012: The  girl was shifted to Singapore hospital for treatment in a critical state, where she succumbed to her grave injuries.

January 17, 2013: Fast track court starts proceedings against five adult accused.

February 2, 2013: Five accused charged with 13 offences including murder.

February 28, 2013: Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) frames rape, murder charges against the minor accused.

March 11, 2013: Main accused Ram Singh commits suicide in Tihar jail.

March 21, 2013: The incident carved a niche for making stricter laws against sexual violence inflicted on women. Govt approved tougher anti-rape law punish sex crimes, including death for repeat rape offenders.

August 22, 2013: Fast track court begins hearing of final arguments in trial against four adult accused.

August 31, 2013: Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) finds the juvenile accused guilty of rape and murder of the paramedical student, sentences him to three years in probation Home.

September 13, 2013: Fast track court awards death to all four convicts. Trial court refers the case to the Delhi High Court for confirmation.

March 13, 2014: The Delhi High Court upholds the death sentences awarded to the four convicts.

July 14, 2014: The Supreme Court stayed till further orders the execution of death penalty of two of the four convicts after two convicts Vinay Sharma (21) and Akshay Thakur (29) moved the apex court.

December 18, 2015: Delhi High Court refuses to stay the release of the minor accused, who walks free after three years in a juvenile home. Senior Advocates Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde appointed Amicus Curiae or the neutral advisor.

The parents of the victim reacted sharply to the court verdict, stating that “crime has won and we have lost (Jurm jeet gaya, hum haar gaye)”.

August 29, 2016: High drama in the courtroom as allegations of police tampering with evidence are made; ML Sharma breaks down.

November 7, 2016: Senior Advocate and Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran makes his submissions, argues for the sentencing order to be set aside.

February 3, 3017: The Supreme Court decides to re-hear the case on the capital punishment angle, after the petitioners contend that there have been violations in legal proceedings.

March 6, 2017: All the accused submit additional affidavits in the Court.

March 27, 2017: The Supreme Court reserves verdict after an year of hearing the case.

May 5, 2017: The Supreme Court upholds death penalty for four convicts in the gangrape case. A four year old legal battle ends. Nirbhaya’s parents are overwhelmed with the verdict, says that Nirbhaya is an angel watching them over.