Indian court upholds death sentences over 2012 gang rape

India’s Supreme Court reaffirms death penalty for ‘diabolical’ assailants in 2012 fatal gang rape

The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed the death penalty granted to the convicts in the gang rape and murder of a paramedical student on 16 December 2012, in New Delhi. 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. The fourth death row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, did not file a review petition. A minor in the case was convicted by the Juvenile Justice Court and served a three year sentence.

But the defendants' lawyer said he would file a curative petition, the last legal challenge. His lawyer had claimed that his client was being framed.

Six men had raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old student in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012. She succumbed to injuries on 29 December 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. The incident had triggered a massive anger among the people that led to the government to adopt several laws for the safety of women.

The court said the death row convicts failed to point out "error apparent on the face of record" in the judgement. The culprits arrested were Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Ram Singh and another young man who was just short of his 18th birthday.

The accused had then put up a clever masquerade with three of them posing as passengers in the bus when the victim and her friend, who were trying to get to Dwarka, were lured into the bus by the juvenile at the Munirka bus stop. Mar 13, 2014 Delhi High Court upheld the trial court's verdict.

"It is absolutely obvious that the accused persons had found an object for enjoyment in her and, as is evident, they were obsessed with the singular objective sans any feeling to ravish her as they liked, treat her as they felt and, if we allow ourselves to say, the gross sadistic and beastly instinctual pleasures came to the forefront when they, after ravishing her, thought it to be just a matter of routine to throw her along with her friend out of the bus and crush them", CJI Misra noted. "They'll definitely be hanged very soon for the barbarism they committed", Asha Devi said. However, the Centre amended the rape law to introduce the death penalty as the maximum punishment in gang rape cases. "What has happened between the confirmation of death sentence and now - there is no diminution of sexual violence against women", Grower said.

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