Will Supreme Court reduce the death penalty of those convicted in the December 16 Nirbhaya gang rape to a life sentence? The decision in the over 4-year long battle will be taken by the apex court today. Over the years, there have been protests that have taken place across the country to bring justice for ‘Nirbhaya’.
The convicts – Akshay, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh – had challenged an order by the Delhi High Court in which they had been sentenced to death. Even the trial court had sentenced all the four convicts to death.
Here is a timeline of the case so far since that fateful night of 16 December 2012:
16 December 2012: A 23-year-old medical student was gangraped in a moving bus by 6 men, including a 17-year-old juvenile. The incident took place when the girl, along with a friend, was returning after watching a movie. They boarded the bus where the boy was thrashed and the girl was brutally gangraped. Iron rods were inserted into her private parts and they were then thrown on the road near Mahipalpur in Delhi.
17 December 2012: The girl was admitted to the Safdurjung Hospital in a critical state. There were protests from all quarters over the incident. Delhi Police arrested the main accused Ram Singh in case.
26 December 2012: Nirbhaya’s health condition deteriorated. She was taken to Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore
29 December 2012: Nirbhaya succumbed to her injuries in Singapore. The rapists were charged with murdering her as well.
2 January 2013: A fast-track court was made for the hearing of the case and chargesheet against all the five accused was filed
11 March 2013: Main accused Ram Singh commits suicide in Tihar jail.
31 August 2013: Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) finds the juvenile accused guilty of raping and murdering Nirbhaya. He was sentenced to 3 years in Special Home.
13 September 2013: Four accused were sentenced to death.
13 March 2014: Delhi High Court upholds the trial Court verdict of death for the convicts.
15 March 2014: Supreme Court stays the execution of the convicts after they alleged that they were denied a fair trial.
18 December 2015: The juvenile convict walks out free after spending three years in a correction home.
3 April 2016: Supreme Court begins hearing into the Nirbhaya case
29 August 2016: High drama in the courtroom, advocate ML Sharma representing the convicts, alleges that police tampered with the evidence. The advocate also broke down into tears in the courtroom.
3 February 3017: Supreme Court decides to hear the case again for the sentencing after complaints were raised that there have been violations in the procedure.
27 March 2017: Supreme Court reserves verdict after hearing the case for nearly a year.