Indian court upholds death sentences over 2012 bus gang rape

India’s Supreme Court reaffirms death penalty for ‘diabolical’ assailants in 2012 fatal gang rape

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed review pleas filed by three of the four men convicted in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, thereby upholding the previous order sentencing them to death.

"By not imposing a death sentence in such cases, the courts may do injustice to the society at large", Banumathi had said in the judgment.

She succumbed to the injuries at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012.

Read Also: West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi urges Jadavpur University students to call off hunger strike AP Singh, one of the counsels of the three convicts, argued before the SC that death penalty in India needs to be abolished.

As the news of the Supreme Court verdict reached there, villagers of Medawara Kalan in Ballia district distributed candies and offered a special worship in the village temple by offering milk to the deity.

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Speaking to the media outside the apex court, the father of the 23-year-old woman who was assaulted in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012, said the family would only rest when the four convicts - Mukesh, Akshay Kumar Singh, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta - are executed.

The May 2017 verdict by the Supreme Court was delivered in appeal against the death sentence awarded to them by the Delhi high court, which considered it to be a "rarest of rare" case.

A fifth man, who was the suspected leader of the group, was found dead in prison in what is thought to be a suicide, while a 17-year-old was sentenced to three years in a detention center and has since been released.

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

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.

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May 2017: The Supreme Court upholds the high court's decision to give them death sentences. Led by CJI Misra, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court heard the arguments of both the sides and reserved their order in May this year. There is no evidence to show that death penalty acts as a deterrent for sexual violence or any other crime. "However, I am happy that my daughter has finally got justice", Singh told reporters.

A sixth suspect was just months short of 18 years when the crime took place.

Following the 2012 case, India launched fast-track courts and a tougher rape law in April this year that included the death penalty for rape of girls below 12.

Activist Annie Raja also welcomed the apex court's decision to uphold the death penalty of the convicts in the case, even as she wondered whether capital punishment could prevent such crimes.

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