After six years of struggle, Supreme Court on Monday pronounced a landmark decision ahead of the 2016 gangrape case of a 23-year-old student, a three-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and R Bhanumathi upheld the death sentence given to three of four convicts in the horrific December 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape.
This decision reaffirms our trust in the court that we will definitely get justice,” said Asha Devi, mother of the victim on SC’s refusal of the plea. “We knew that review petition will be dismissed. But what next? So much time has gone by and the threat to women have gone up in this span. I believe sooner they’re hanged, better it is,” said Nirbhaya’s father Badrinath Singh.
“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 Nirbaya by hanging them as soon as possible and help other girls and women,” she said.
“The 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.
The 23-year-old later came out to be known as Nirbhaya, was coming back from watching a movie in the Saket, South Delhi with her friend was beaten, gang-raped and tortured on a bus on the night of December 16, 2012. Later, she succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore Hospital on December 29, 2012.
The apex court had on May 4 reserved its order on the review petitions filed by the convicts- Pawan Gupta (31), Vinay Sharma (25), and Mukesh (31). The fourth convict, Akshay Kumar Singh has not filed any petition yet.
Another convict, prime-accused Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide at the Tihar jail in 2013 while the case was still in the trial stage, while the sixth accused had been found to be minor by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and was sentenced to a three-year-term at a probation home, after which he was released.
In September 2013, a fast track court found the four guilty in the gangrape case and pronounced death sentence to them. The trial court then referred the case to the Delhi High Court for confirmation of their death sentence, to which Delhi High Court also ordered death penalty to the rapists.