Nirbhaya’s rapists will hang as Supreme Court rejects review

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India's top court on Monday upheld death sentences for three men convicted over the notorious 2012 gang-rape and murder of a woman that sparked national protests and soul-searching.

On May 04, the Supreme Court had reserved its order on the review petition filed by the convicts, Pawan, Vinay and Mukesh, in the brutal December 16 gang rape and murder case.

The Nirbhaya case that led to amendment of law to make rape punishable with death penalty, has gone from court to court with the same verdict.

On 16 December 2012, a student was brutally assaulted and raped by six persons on a moving bus in South Delhi, an incident which triggered nationwide protests. She later succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012 after she was taken there for treatment. Of six accused arrested, one died in jail and another convicted juvenile was released after serving a three-year term as per the Juvenile Justice Act. "This is not justice for all", Singh said.

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The convicted assailants have not yet exhausted all legal options - they can still seek a curative petition from the court for example - so the process may drag out for years.

The defendants" lawyer A. P. Singh "injustice" had been meted out to his clients under "political and media pressure'.

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In 2016, there were some 40,000 rapes reported in India, according to the most recent official figures available. It also put focus on the increasing number of crimes involving juveniles, bringing about change that would see them tried as adults under specific circumstances.

The apex court dealt with this issue as advocate A P Singh, appearing for convicts Vinay Sharma and Pawan Kumar Gupta, had argued before it about abolition of death penalty in India.

This included the attack on an eight-year-old girl from a Muslim nomadic community in January.

Reacting to the judgement, Delhi Commission for Women's chief, Swati Maliwal, said, "Welcome SC decision on Nirbhaya matter of upholding the death penalty to rapists".

The girl from the northern Jammu region died after being kidnapped, drugged and gang raped by several men for days at a Hindu temple. The remaining four accused were sentenced to death by Additional Sessions Judge.

India is one of the countries that still permits capital punishment, typically hanging those sentenced to death.

"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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