Nirbhaya gangrape case highlights: Offence created tsunami of shock, says SC upholding death sentencehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/nirbhaya-gangrape-case-live-updates-supreme-court-verdict-today-on-convicts-plea-challenging-death-sentence-akshay-kumar-pawan-gupta-vinay-sharma-mukesh-singh-4641622/

Nirbhaya gangrape case highlights: Offence created tsunami of shock, says SC upholding death sentence

Nirbhaya gangrape case: Here are the highlights from the Supreme Court which upheld the death penalty verdict awarded to four convicts — Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh — in the Delhi December 16 gangrape case, 2012.

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Nirbhaya gangrape case convicts: Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the death sentence awarded to four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case by a Delhi fast-track court in 2013 and subsequently the Delhi High Court in 2014, rejecting the appeal filed by the convicts. Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Ram Singh and a juvenile were held guilty of gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old student in the national capital. The victim, who put up a brave fight, died about a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital where she was battling for life. The offence created a ‘tsunami of shock’, the apex court observed today.

During the course of the trial, Ram Singh was found dead in prison. The juvenile, who was tried by the juvenile justice board, served three years in a remand home and has since been released. Here are the highlights from the Supreme Court, as well as the reactions to the apex court’s order. For a recap on the entire case, click here Nirbhaya gangrape case 2012: A look at what all has happened over the years.

Nirbhaya gangrape case highlights:

4:30 pm: The Supreme Court’s verdict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case is victory of the rule of law, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, is quoted as saying by PTI. Favouring death penalty in statute, he says he is satisfied that the provision exists for rarest of rare cases. For more reactions, click here.

4:20 pm:  Here’s an extract from the SC’s remarks on the incident that took place in December 2012, which brought about a “tsunami of shock”:

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“The casual manner with which she was treated and the devilish manner in which they played with her identity and dignity is humanly inconceivable. It sounds like a story from a different world where humanity has been treated with irreverence.”

4:03 pm:  “I welcome the hon’ble Supreme Court verdict upholding the death sentences of the accused in Nirbhaya case. Justice prevailed,” tweets MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju.

4:00 pm:  It is a good judgement that the Supreme Court has passed, Rajiv Mohan, one of the public prosecutor in the lower courts, tells ANI.

3:55 pm: “Justice has finally been done and has brought a closure,” Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi is quoted as saying by NDTV.

3:43 pm: Surjewala‏ questions why the Nirbhaya Fund hasn’t been used, in a series of tweets.

3:40 pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep S Surjewala‏ reacts to the verdict. Watch:

3:35 pm:  “It was very tragic incident, which has blotted the civilization of India. In my opinion there is no doubt what so ever, that all of them were guilty and I think nothing other than capital punishment should be given by the SC,” BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had told ANI, prior to the announcement of the verdict.

3:30 pm: The senior advocate who represented the Delhi police, Siddhartha Luthra, told Hindustan Times that credit goes to the able team of the Delhi Police, which collected unimpeachable scientific evidence to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. He agreed with the SC’s verdict, upholding death penalty to the convicts.

3:25 pm:  AAP leader Kumar Vishwas reacts to the verdict, saying he is happy that an appropriate punishment has been handed to those who committed the crime “Behen nirbhaya ham sharminda hain ki hum sabke rehte aisa hua. Ishwar tumhari aatma ko santosh de ki nirmam gunhagaaron ko aakhir uchit saza mili (Sister Nirbhaya, We are filled with sorrow that in spite of us all being there, such a tragedy happened with you. May god give relief to your soul that at least the criminals are given appropriate punishment),” he tweeted.

3:15 pm: Reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict, Nirbhaya’s mother says that her daughter has got justice, Times of India reports. The victim’s father added, “Justice meted to us and the nation which supported our daughter.”

Asha Devi thanks everyone who supported her in the difficult times, reports PTI. “Though we have lost our daughter, we are satisfied that the court has awarded death sentence to her perpetrators,” she says.

3:04 pm: In principle I am against death penalty, but this was such a heinous crime that strictest punishment was needed. Selective nature of the judicial process of our country is why I am against death penalty. What happened in Bilkis Bano case, says CPM leader Brinda Karat.

3:02 pm: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan reacts:

3:00 pm: Delhi Police’s investigation stands vindicated. It’s an important verdict, said Deependra Pathak, Delhi Police Spokesperson.

2:55 pm: The victim’s father has told ANI that he is happy with the judgment. “This is a victory for my family,” he said.

2:45 pm: Here are some other reactions to the Supreme Court verdict.

DCW welcomes SC decision. Finally, justice was delayed but not denied. Nirbhaya’s rapists will be served death penalty now – Swati Maliwal, DCW chairperson

Historic judgment by Supreme Court in Nirbhaya case. Let this be the beginning of speedy & effective justice for every victim of gender violence – Ashish Khetan, senior leader, AAP

2:40 pm: “I am happy that the verdict has been upheld though I wish it had come sooner,” said Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. She was behind the passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill that was passed earlier this year.

2:35 pm: “You cannot sentence somebody to death just to make an example in the society. Human rights is in tatters,” said AP Singh, the defence counsel. “Justice not done, we will file review petition after reading the order.” He also said the death sentence for the convicts is the result of public pressure.

2.30 pm: Here’s more on what the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court said today: The devilish manner in which she was treated seems like a story from a different world humanly inconceivable. Aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances. The victim’s dying declaration is consistent; it has been proved beyond doubt and corroborated, the bench said, adding that the nature and manner of the crime devastated social trust, and falls in ‘rarest of rare’ category warranting death penalty.

2.20 pm:  While the Supreme Court has passed its order today, the four convicts will be given enough time to decide their next move. They can file a writ petition in the Supreme Court and post that they can file a mercy petition before the President.

2.17 pm: The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts. They will be hanged, says the Supreme Court. While reading out the order, the apex court said that the act demonstrates ‘perversion of the accused’.

2.15 pm: As it begins reading out the verdict, the Supreme Court has said that the criminal conspiracy allegations stand established against the accused. It also said that the DNA profiling of the accused proved their presence in the bus. The dying declaration of the victim is also consistent, the apex court has said.

2.00 pm: Parents of the victim have arrived and are present in the Supreme Court. The court is likely to pronounce its order anytime now, on whether it will uphold the Delhi High Court’s order awarding the death sentence to the four convicts.

1.55 pm: The matter will come up at 2 pm this afternoon, and lawyers have already started entering the already packed court room in the Supreme Court. The case has been closely tracked for the last four years by lawyers, civil society groups and citizens at large.

1.40 pm: In 2014, when the Delhi High Court upheld the conviction and death penalty, it termed the offence as ‘extremely fiendish’ and ‘unparalleled in the history of criminal jurisprudence’ and said the ‘exemplary punishment’ was the need of the hour.

1.35 pm: To recap, the trial court that was set up in 2013, passed its order awarding the death sentence in September that year. The accused were convicted on all 13 counts and were awarded the death sentence. The juvenile in the case was sent to a remand home. The maximum sentence that can be awarded to a juvenile is three years.

1.30 pm: Hours before the Supreme Court pronounces its order, the mother of the victim, speaking to reporters, had this to say: “We have full faith in the judicial system and I am sure that the Supreme Court will announce death sentence in its verdict for the guilty. I am sure the Supreme Court will give justice to my daughter. This will set an example for the world.” You can read more about it, here.

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The victims mother Asha Devi sits next to her daughter’s bravery awards in their Dwarka residence. Express Photo by Ravi Kanojia.

The protests that followed the 2012 Delhi gangrape case saw huge demonstrations, not just in Delhi, but in various other parts of the country.  A committee was then set up to recommend changes in existing laws and work towards safety measures for women. The Justice Verma Committee submitted a slew of recommendations to the central government. Moreover, the then government constituted a Nirbhaya fund with Rs 1000 crore for works related to the safety of women. The then government, however, came under severe criticism for failing to use the allocated fund.