Supreme Court upholds death penalty for 2012 Delhi gang rape case convicts

Clay Curtis
July 9, 2018

India's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence in the 2012 New Delhi bus gang-rape case, a crime that sparked widespread protests leading to stronger anti-rape laws.

The apex court during the hearing of the case on Monday said that the death row convicts failed to point out "error apparent on the face of record" in the judgement. "What has happened between the confirmation of death sentence and now - there is no diminution of sexual violence against women", Grower said. Three out of the four convicts had filed review petitions with the SC against the death sentence.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra dismissed a petition filed by the men to review a 2017 order by the top court, which had confirmed the death penalty given to them by the Delhi High Court.

The convicts still have two different processes available for seeking a review of their verdict. They can file one last petition with the Supreme Court, and if it's again rejected, they can seek presidential mercy, said A.P. Singh, the defence attorney.

December 18, 2012: Delhi police arrest four men out of six and remand them in police custody for five days.

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One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar jail.

The sixth defendant, a minor accused of pulling out part of the woman's intestines with his own hand, was sent to a reform home for three years and has since been released.

In the years since, women's advocates say that the Nirbhaya case raised awareness, prompting more women to come forward if they're abused or assaulted, with authorities responding to the concerns with more closed-circuit security cameras and fast track courts for crimes against women.

The bus driver, the fifth suspect in the crime, was found hanging in his cell in a prison in March 2013, months before the suspects were convicted. She succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital, triggering huge protests across the country.

The court had earlier reserved its verdict on a review petition filed by Mukesh. India's cabinet subsequently approved an emergency ordinance allowing the death penalty for the gang rape of children under the age of 12. He walked out of a correction home in December 2015 after spending three years there.

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