SC dismisses review petition of Nirbhaya rape case accused; upholds death penalty

Glen Norman
July 10, 2018

The men convicted of a notorious gang-rape and murder of a woman on a bus in Delhi in 2012 will face the death penalty, India's top court has ruled.

All pleas of convicts were taken into account during hearing of appeals against HC order and no new ground has been raised in review petitions to warrant reconsideration of death penalties awarded to them in May2017, the Bench observed.

AP Singh, the lawyer for the convicts told ANI, "The sentence was upheld due to public and political pressure". It said in a review petition the petitioner can not be allowed to re-argue merits of the case by pointing out certain evidences and materials, which were on the record and were already looked into by the trial court, HC and this court as well.

In these review petitions, no ground has been made out which may furnish any ground to review the judgment.

Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer appearing for one of the convicts, Mukesh, said that his client is innocent in the case, and was falsely implicated.

Calling the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the death penalty for the accused in the Nirbhaya case as "unfortunate" Amnesty International India asserted that there was no evidence to show death penalty acted as a deterrent for sexual violence.

On 16 December 2012, a student was brutally assaulted and raped by six persons on a moving bus in South Delhi, an incident which triggered nationwide protests.

The woman succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29 the same year.

In its previous judgement, the SC had said that "the brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature" of the crime was capable of creating "a tsunami of shock" that could destroy a civilised society.

India has long exercised the death penalty as punishment for serious crimes; its last execution was in 2015 of Yakub Memon for his role in the 1993 terrorist bombings in Mumbai. One of the accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide in Tihar Central Jail while the sixth accused, a minor, was sent to a correction home and has been released after serving his probation period.

The six gang-raped and tortured the woman with an iron bar as the bus drove loops through the Indian capital.

"The casual manner with which she was treated and the devilish manner in which they played with her identity and dignity is humanly inconceivable".

"I want that as soon as possible they are hanged to death", Devi said in an interview with The Post. Time and again her parents have demanded death penalty for all the rapists, including the juvenile.

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