New Delhi: The Supreme Court is expected to decide on Friday on the petitions of the four convicts who have challenged their death penalty in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, also known as the Nirbhaya case.
On December 16, 2012, the 23-year-old physiotherapist was gangraped by six men, including one juvenile, in a moving bus and later died of grave intestinal injuries on December 29, 2012 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.
The accused were awarded death sentence in September 2013; the sentence was upheld by the Delhi High Court as well in 2014. The four whose fate will be decided tomorrow are Vinay Sharma, Mukesh, Pawan, and Akshay Thakur.
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While others waited for their fate, Ram Singh, one of the six accused, hanged himself in his cell inside the Tihar Jail in March 2013.
The remaining four – the lone juvenile has served his sentence in a Delhi remand home – now await the Supreme Court decision, where they have appealed for commutation to life sentence.
The parents of the 23-year-old victim have repeatedly said they want to see “all of the convicts dead so that they could take a sigh of relief”.
Last year, one of the four convicts in the case, Vinay Sharma, had also tried to commit suicide by hanging himself inside his cell in a high-security ward situated in Jail No 8 in Tihar jail.
Asked about his reaction to Sharma’s suicide attempt, the victim’s father had said: “If he was committing suicide, he should do it. Not only he, I want see all the convicts dead so that we can take a sigh of relief.”
The brutal rape by six persons, including the juvenile, was committed inside a moving bus when the victim along with her male-friend were returning home from watching a movie and had boarded the bus at Munirka bus stop in south Delhi.
The gangrape had triggered protests across the nation and she was also mourned the world over. She came to be known as ‘Nirbhaya’ for her astonishing zeal to live despite grave injuries inflicted upon her.
The incident, which engulfed the media space like a wildfire for months, also resulted in a committee for reappraisal of the laws on rape, known as Justice J.S. Committee, which submitted its recommendations on January 23, 2013.
The committee went through the laws related to immoral trafficking, crimes against women at workplaces, child sex abuse, among other crimes, and bore its weight against the mob sentiment prevailing then, when it ruled out death penalty and chemical-castration as one of punishments for rape, and recommended life imprisonment instead.