SC sends Dec 16 gangrape accused to the gallows Justice finally delivered, say victim's parents
Report by: 
5 May 2017

The Supreme Court today confirmed the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 sensational gangrape and murder case, saying it had sent a "tsunami of shock" all over and was a 'rarest of rare' case in which the most brutal, barbaric and diabolical attack was carried out on the 23-year-old woman.

The apex court said the convicts had treated the victim as an object of enjoyment, with the single purpose of ravishing her. A three-judge bench, through a unanimous verdict, upheld the Delhi High Court judgement which had concurred with the trial court decision. Those who will face the gallows are Mukesh (29), Pawan (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31). One of the accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail, while a convicted juvenile was sentenced three years of punishment in a reform home. In its judgement, the bench noted every gory detail which the victim suffered at their hands, like after she was gangraped, the convicts had inserted an iron rod in her private parts, threw her from the bus along with her friend and tried to run them over.

The apex court termed the incident as "most brutal, barbaric and diabolical attack" on the victim. The judgement was pronounced by a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan which had reserved the verdict on March 27 after a marathon hearing. Justice Misra wrote the judgement for himself and Justice Bhushan, while Justice Banumathi wrote a separate but concurring verdict. The apex court said the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances like the poor family background, young age of accused, good conduct in prison, marital status, small kids etc. Justice Misra, who read the operative portion of the judgement, said the offence created a "tsunami of shock".

The bench also said the nature and the manner of the crime had devastated social trust and it fell in the 'rarest of rare' category, warranting death penalty. It said the victim's dying declaration was consistent, which was proved beyond doubt and corroborated, even though the victim had made her dying declaration through gestures as she was in a very bad state of affair. The bench further said the scientific evidence like DNA profiling of the victim and the accused proved to the hilt about their presence at the crime spot. It said the criminal conspiracy of four convicts, Ram Singh and juvenile has been established, even after efforts were made to destroy evidence like running the bus over the victim and her friend after they were thrown out of it. The apex court also said that the testimony of the victim's friend who was with her in bus and the first prosecution witness, was impeccable and relied upon. The bench said the convicts treated the victim as an object of enjoyment, with the single purpose of ravishing her.

In her separate order, Justice Banumathi asked if this case wasn't the 'rarest of rare' to award death penalty, then which case can fall under it. She said the convicts' background, age, no criminal record, good behaviour in prison cannot outweigh aggravating circumstances. The court passed the verdict while deciding the appeals of the four convicts in the case that had shaken the entire nation's conscience. The convicts had challenged the conviction and death penalty awarded to them by the high court on March 13, 2014.  The 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally assaulted and raped by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend on the night of December 16, 2012. She had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29 that year.

The victim's mother today said she was satisfied that the perpetrators have been awarded the death penalty by the Supreme Court. The victim's mother, Asha Devi, who was present in the jam-packed court room when the verdict was pronounced, said justice has finally been done, despite the delay due to the lengthy legal procedure. "We thank all who supported us in the difficult times. Though we have lost our daughter, we are satisfied that the court has awarded death sentence to her perpetrators," she said. From now on, she and her husband will fight for justice for other girls against whom criminal acts are committed, Asha Devi said while coming out of the court room. Asha Devi was present along with her husband Badri Singh when Justice Dipak Misra, who headed the bench pronounced the verdict in English. Some lawyers were seen translating the verdict in Hindi to them. As soon as the verdict was pronounced, the victim's parents, lawyers and some other litigants present in the court room, stood up and clapped.