Bus gang-rape killers to hang after final appeal turned down

On May 5, 2017 Supreme Court of India upheld the death sentence on all four convicts who raped a 23-year-old medical student, calling it a "rarest of rare" case in the history of the country.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan referred to a constitution bench verdict of the apex court and observed that after elaborately considering the existence of death penalty in the penal code, constitutional provisions and global covenant on civil and criminal rights, it was held that death penalty was "constitutionally valid".

"Even the Justice Verma Committee, whose recommendations were relied upon to reform the laws on sexual assault and rape, had opposed imposing the death penalty in cases of rape", Asmita Basu, Amnesty International India's Programmes director, was quoted by Business Standard as saying.

"Unfortunately, executions do not eradicate violence against women". It was later upheld by the high court.

The woman was raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a running bus in south Delhi by six persons.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan dismissed the review petition filed by Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma to reduce their death penalty to a life sentence.

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

Indian defence lawyer AP Singh representing men accused of gang-raping and murdering a woman in 2012 talks to the media outside India's supreme court building in New Delhi on July 9, 2018.

But activists say this is just the tip of the iceberg as many victims are afraid to report the crimes due to threats by perpetrators or the social stigma attached to sexual assaults. The Court had reserved its judgement in the matter on May 4 this year after hearing the arguments on behalf of the convicts.

"Faith in the judiciary has been reinstated".

Ms Singh was dumped on the streets 45 minutes later and died from her internal injuries 13 days after the attack in a Singapore hospital.

Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, Mukesh, 29, Vinay Sharma, 23 and Pawan, 22, four of the six men who raped a 23-year-old paramedic student, have appealed against the death penalty that was awarded to them.

One of the accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide during the trial.

The juvenile was convicted by the Juvenile Justice Board in 2013 and sent to a Special home for three years.

  • Rogelio Becker