SC confirms death for four in 2012 Delhi rape case

Crime brutal, barbaric and diabolic, says bench

SC confirms death for four in 2012 Delhi rape case

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the death penalty for four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra described the crime as “brutal, barbaric and diabolic”.
Six assailants had raped the 23-year-old paramedic, inserted a rod in her private parts and pulled out her internal organs, the court recalled, rejecting pleas against their sentence. The convicts had also assaulted her boy friend viciously.

The crime took place on the night of December 16, 2012, triggering nationwide outrage and protests. It had set off a “tsunami of shock” in society, the bench said.

Convicts Vinay, Akshay Kumar, Pawan and Mukesh, through their counsel M L Sharma and A P Singh and amicus curiae Sanjay Hegde, put forward mitigating factors like good conduct in custody and poor family backgrounds. The court wasn’t impressed. Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, another amicus curiae, said no effective opportunity had been granted to the convicts before the sentencing.

“When we cautiously, consciously and anxiously weigh the aggravating circumstances and the mitigating factors, we are compelled to arrive at the singular conclusion that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances now brought on record,” said the 315-page judgement, written by Misra with Justice Ashok Bhushan, said. The convicts can seek a review of the judgement and follow it up with a curative petition.

They can also file a mercy plea with the President, if no relief comes their way. Justice R Banumathi passed a separate, concurring verdict in the case. In a 113-page judgement, she hoped the case would lead to a “mass movement to end violence against women”.

Applause in court

When the court pronounced its verdict, activists and parents of the victim could not hide their sense of relief.
Some activists expressed joy by clapping, an act rarely seen inside courtrooms.

The Delhi High Court had on March 13, 2014, confirmed the capital punishment awarded by a trial court. After battling for life, the 23-year-old died in a Singapore hospital on December 29. The prime accused, Ram Singh, was found dead in Tihar Jail in 2013, and the court abated proceedings against him. Another accused turned out to be a minor. He faced proceedings before a juvenile court, and escaped stringent punishment.

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