The Supreme Court of India is likely to pronounce its verdict on the review pleas of the three out of four convicts who were held guilty and sentenced to death in the December 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The apex court in 2017 had upheld the capital punishment awarded to the convicts by Delhi High Court.
According to The Hindu, Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan will comprise the bench which is expected to deliver its the pleas of Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23). Akshay Kumar Singh (31), the fourth death row convict, has not filed a petition against SC’s May 5 2017 judgement.
However advocate A P Singh, representing Akshay, said: “Akshay has not filed a review petition yet. We will be filing it.”
Another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail in 2013. The sixth accused in the case was a juvenile who was convicted by the juvenile justice board and kept in a reformation home for three years, a report in The Indian Express said.
On the intervening night of 16th and 17th December 2012, a 23 year old medical student was brutally gangraped in a bus in the national capital. The victim, who remained hospitalized for nearly two weeks, succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012.
Talking to News 18 Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi said: “All we can do is wait and trust the law of our country that justice would be delivered to us. We are fighting not only for our daughter but also others who been raped and denied justice.”
“When this incident happened the courts were flooded with similar cases. We thought a change would come but it hasn’t. The situation has only changed for the worse. Girls are being raped and there is nobody to hear their pleas. Our politicians are bothered only about their vote bank and thus are not able to see where our society is heading,” Nirbhaya’s father said.
He also expressed his displeasure with the current government’s attitude on the case.
While talking to News18, he said ,”In terms of ensuring women security, our government has failed. Before coming to power , our Prime Minsiter shouted huge slogans like ‘Bahut hua naari parmaar, Abki baar Modi sarkaar.‘ After coming to power, he had given longest speech from the Red Fort two years back but there was no mention of women’s safety. What use was this speech?”
Moreover, he claimed that the case sailed through different courts and invesitgating agencies smoothly during the UPA II government at the centre. Whereas, the father claimed, the case is stuck in Supreme court since the new government came to power at the centre.
The capital punishment awarded to the convicts triggered a debate whether death penalty was justified. While some opined that a stringent action would set an example and act as a deterrent factor, others pointed out the lack of evidence in favour of this argument.
(Written by Urvashi Sharma)