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Nirbhaya Rapists Will Hang, Supreme Court Rejects Plea to Review Death Sentence

The Supreme Court said on Monday that the death row convicts had failed to point out "error apparent on the face of record" in the judgment.

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Updated:July 9, 2018, 6:24 PM IST
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Nirbhaya Rapists Will Hang, Supreme Court Rejects Plea to Review Death Sentence
Nirbhaya's parents show victory sign after the Supreme Court's verdict on Monday. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)
New Delhi: A year after it had first upheld the death sentence against four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case of 2012, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas filed by three out of the four seeking review of its earlier verdict.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan rejected the review pleas filed by Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23), saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the verdict.

The fourth convict, Akhay Kumar Singh (31), did not file a review petition against the May 5, 2017 judgment of the apex court.

The court said on Monday that the death row convicts had failed to point out "error apparent on the face of record" in the judgment.

The bench also said that these three convicts were heard elaborately during the stage of their appeal against the Delhi High Court's judgement and no case has been made out by them for review of the apex court's verdict upholding the death penalty.

The apex court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case of gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student on December 16, 2012 in the national capital.

The woman was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16 and 17 inside a running bus in South Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore after a two-week long struggle for survival.

One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

The 23-year-old victim, on course to be the first professional in the family, was coming home from the cinema with a male friend when she boarded the fateful bus.

The empty bus with the six men in it drove around the city in loops while torturing the woman and her friend. The friend was beaten till he was unconscious while the woman, now known as Nirbhaya, was brutally raped with an iron rod inserted into her private parts that fatally injured her.

The two were then dumped on the road in the brutal cold of a winter night in Delhi without any clothes on. She lay on the streets for 45 minutes with the horrific injuries unattended and bleeding.

The brutality of the attack, and her determination to survive long enough to identify her attackers to police, triggered angry demonstrations by tens of thousands of people in Delhi and nationwide.

The case later forced the government to introduce several stringent changes to laws on crime against women after tens of thousands of civilians and activists took to the streets in the national capital and across the country.

The victim's parents on Monday welcomed the ruling, with her mother saying it was a "very happy news".

"The Supreme Court upholding its verdict is a strong message to those who commit such heinous crimes. Our faith in the judiciary has been reinstated. I appeal to the prime minister to take concrete steps against atrocities towards young girls and women," Asha Devi, the mother of the victim, said.

But the defendants' lawyer said he would file a curative petition, the last legal challenge. If that fails they could seek a pardon from the president.

"Justice should be for everyone. Injustice has been meted out to them. The court has taken a decision against these kids (convicts) under political and media pressure," defence lawyer AP Singh told reporters.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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