India's Supreme Court upholds death sentence in Delhi rape case

India's Supreme Court upholds death sentence in Delhi rape case

The four were convicted of raping and assaulting the 23-year-old paramedical student on a moving bus in Delhi on Dec 16, 2012.

In their ruling, the Supreme Court judges had said they were upholding the death sentence after taking note of the serious injuries and the severe nature of the offence.

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 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.

"A review of a judgement is a serious step and reluctant resort to... it is proper only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility", said Justices R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.

The apex court in its May 5, 2017 verdict had upheld capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.

The Delhi rape case pertains to the gang rape of a paramedical student on 16 December 2012, which triggered nationwide protests. The only other legal option for the four is through a mercy petition to the President of India.

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Another, who was aged 17 at the time, was released in 2015 after serving three years in a reform facility - the maximum term possible for a juvenile in India.

One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, has died already, after allegedly committing suicide in the Tihar Jail in the national capital.

"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. "I think true justice for Nirbhaya will be when such crimes against women stop in the society", she said.

The brutal attack prompted widespread protests throughout the country, sparked a new debate about women's safety in India and resulted in strict changes to the country's rape laws which now allows for the death penalty in some rape cases.

According to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2016, incidents of rape of children in India increased by over 82 percent compared with 2015, when almost 35,000 rape cases were reported to the police.

"The convicts must be immediately hanged to death", he said.

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