India’s Supreme Court rejects death sentence appeal in 2012 gang rape

India’s Supreme Court rejects death sentence appeal in 2012 gang rape

India’s Supreme Court rejects death sentence appeal in 2012 gang rape

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.

"Singh that death penalty has been abolished by the Parliament of United Kingdom in the year 1966 and several Latin American countries, and Australian states have also abolished death penalty, is no ground to efface death penalty from the statute book of our country", Justice Bhushan, writing the judgement for the bench, said while rejecting the review pleas filed by Vinay and Pawan.

The Supreme Court in May previous year upheld the Delhi High court order of death penalty to four convicts Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay.

The fourth did not appeal, but his lawyer said they would soon file one, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Mentioning that there are no grounds to reconsider the 2017-SC verdict, the Court also stated that reviews can be sought only when there are apparent errors resulting in miscarriage of justice and that the convicts cannot use the review petition to re-argue the case. The Delhi High Court upheld that verdict in 2014.

In the December 2012 attack, prosecutors said the four took their victim to the back of a private bus in New Delhi, raping her and then damaging her internal organs with an iron rod.

Her parents welcomed the ruling, with her mother Asha Singh saying it was "very happy news".

A 17-year-old also involved was sentenced to three years in a detention centre and has since been released.

"There is no evidence to show that the death penalty acts as a deterrent for sexual violence or any other crime", said Asmita Basu, a top official of the global rights organization in India.

All convicts maintain their innocence, but only three of them were involved in the appeal rejected by India's Supreme Court on Monday. "I think true justice for Nirbhaya will be when such crimes against women stop in the society", she said.

The crime shocked the nation's conscience, they said.

The 23-year-old woman was coming home from the cinema with a male friend when a six-strong gang beat the man unconscious before raping and torturing her. She later succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012 after she was taken there for treatment. The fifth convict committed suicide in jail in 2013 while the sixth one was a minor at the time.

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

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