Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Nirbhaya gang rape: Supreme Court to decide on death sentence, Monday

Nirbhaya gang rape: Supreme Court to decide on death sentence, Monday

The court also said that the hearing on the appeals against the Delhi High Court judgement confirming the death sentence lasted 38 days as the lawyers for the four convicts were given full opportunity to state their case.

A review petition is entertained on the grounds of judicial fallibility, miscarriage of justice or error in the earlier SC judgment.

The victim's grandfather Lalji Singh said if the culprits were hanged to death by now, then such monstrous incidents would not have happened, referring to repeated cases of rapes in various parts of the country.

Jyoti Singh, a physiotherapy student, was on a bus home from the cinema with a male friend when she was raped and thrown off the bus by a gang of five men and a teenager. The victim succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore.

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The victim's father said, "All women in the country have received justice today".

The case, which scarred the nation, had headlined across the world, triggering big changes to laws on sexual crimes against women.

Four men were convicted in September 2013 for murder, gang rape, theft, conspiracy and "unnatural acts" after a seven-month trial in a fast-track court. The culprits arrested were Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Ram Singh and another young man who was just short of his 18th birthday. Failing to get any relaxation in death sentence from it, a mercy plea before the President would be the last resort for them.

AP Singh, the lawyer for the convicts told ANI, "The sentence was upheld due to public and political pressure".

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"Where a crime is committed with extreme brutality and the collective conscience of the society is shocked, courts must award death penalty, irrespective of their personal opinion as regards desirability of the death penalty".

But the number of reporter rapes continue to rise - from about 25,000 in 2012 to 38,000 in 2016, according to government crime data.

This included the attack on an eight-year-old girl from a Muslim nomadic community in January. However, the Centre amended the rape law to introduce the death penalty as the maximum punishment in gang rape cases.

Reacting to the judgement, Delhi Commission for Women's chief, Swati Maliwal, said, "Welcome SC decision on Nirbhaya matter of upholding the death penalty to rapists".

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Sentencing the four in 2013, Judge Yogesh Khanna said the case fell into the "rarest of rare category" which justifies capital punishment in India.

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