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Nirbhaya Case Verdict: Supreme Court upholds death sentence of the rapists

Monday July 9, 2018 8:46 PM, Agencies

Nirbhaya Case Verdict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Monday upheld the death sentence in the 2012 New Delhi bus gang-rape case, the crime that sparked widespread outrage leading to stronger anti-rape laws.

The Supreme Court upheld its own judgement on the death sentence given against four men who had fatally gang raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, known as Nirbhaya, on a moving bus in New Delhi.

"There is no material to review our order," said the three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, on the review petition filed by three of the four convicts - Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma - who had been handed the death penalty.

Badrinath Singh, the victim's father, said his daughter has "finally got justice".

"It took the court one year to review the petitions. However, I am happy that my daughter has finally got justice," Singh told reporters.

Reacting to the judgment, the rape victim's mother said the decision reaffirmed their trust in the Supreme Court. "They were not juveniles. It is unfortunate that they committed such a crime. This decision reaffirms our trust in the court that we will definitely get justice," ANI quoted the victim's mother as saying.

Of the six people arrested for the crime, one committed suicide in prison in 2013, while a juvenile defendant was sentenced to three years in a reform facility and released in 2015.

The brutal crime had sparked widespread protests and drew international attention over violence against women in India. A fast-track court had convicted four defendants to death less than a year after the brutal gang rape and murder of the paramedic student. It was later upheld by the high court.

During the hearing last year, the bench had told advocate M L Sharma, appearing for Mukesh, that he has to make out a case for review of the analysis arrived at by the court in its May 5 verdict. When the counsel raised the issue of alleged “illegal evidence” against the convict, the bench said, “You had argued all these points and we had rejected it”.

“How were the marks of your (Mukesh) teeth found on the leg of the victim,” the bench asked. To this, Sharma alleged that Mukesh was framed by the police and tortured.

Rohan Mahajan, the lawyer representing the family of the gang-rape victim, said it was a "victorious moment".

"Faith in the judiciary has been reinstated. We are satisfied today..." Mahajan told local ANI news agency.

In 2016, police in India registered 38,947 rape complaints compared to 2015, when nearly 35,000 rape cases were reported, according to National Crime Records Bureau data.

The number of rapes reported each year in Delhi has more than tripled over the past five years, registering an increase of 277 percent from 572 in 2011 to 2,155 in 2016, according to data released by the Delhi Police.

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