New Delhi Correspondent
India’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld the death sentence of the four men, convicted for the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student here in December 2012.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan delivered the judgement on the review petition of the convicts Mukesh, 29, Pawan Gupta, 22 and Vinay Sharma, 23. The fourth death row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, had not moved the top court against the Supreme Court’s judgement in May last year endorsing the death sentence given by the trial court in 2014.
The student was gang raped and assaulted by six persons in a moving bus on December 16, 2012 when she was returning from a movie show in a South Delhi locality. A male friend accompanying her was also beaten up. The woman died later in a hospital in Singapore, sparking a nation-wide outrage and street protests for a week after the incident.
While one of the key accused, the driver of the bus, died in jail, another was tried by a juvenile justice board and was released after he served his three-year sentence, the maximum punished for a juvenile under Indian law. The other four men were sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in May last year.
The convicts Mukesh Singh is the brother of the bus driver, Pawan Gupta was a fruit seller and Vinay Sharma a gym instructor.
The Supreme Court bench on Monday dismissed the convicts’ plea against the capital punishment saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the verdict. The apex court said the death row convicts failed to point out “error apparent on the face of record” in the judgement.
The bench also said that these three convicts were heard elaborately during the stage of their appeal against the Delhi High Court’s judgement and no case has been made out by them for review of the apex court’s verdict upholding the death penalty.
The apex court had in its verdict in May last year upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case relating to the gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old paramedic student in New Delhi on December 16, 2012.
On September 2013, the four adult accused were convicted and given the death penalty by the trial court. On March 13, 2014, the Delhi high court endorsed the death sentence.
The adult convicts moved the Supreme Court in March-June 2013 and the death sentences were put on hold until the court takes a decision.