2012 Delhi gangrape case: Supreme Court upholds death penalty for three convicts; victim's mother says 'got justice'
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas filed by three out of the four convicts and said no grounds have been made out by them for review of the verdict.
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the pleas filed by three of the four men convicted in the Delhi gangrape case, seeking a review of the court's verdict upholding their death penalty for the brutal sexual assault on a 23-year-old paramedic student on 16 December, 2012.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan rejected the review petitions filed by Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23), saying the convicts had made no grounds for a review of the May 2017 judgment upholding their capital punishment.
Justice Bhushan said that "the ambit and scope of a review petition is well-defined and can only be entertained if there is judicial fallibility, miscarriage of justice and error apparent in the earlier apex court judgment", The Hindu reported. He also said that the convicts cannot re-argue their case in the guise of a review petition.
The bench said the three convicts were heard elaborately after they had appealed against the Delhi High Court's ruling, and they had not made any case for a review of the top court's verdict upholding their death penalty.
The convicts now have another legal option — to file a curative petition. Curative petitions challenging a death penalty can be filed on the grounds that there is evidence the convicts have not put forth in the past. If this petition is also rejected, a mercy plea would be their last option.
After the Supreme Court's judgment on Monday, the victim's mother said she was happy her daughter had got justice, though she added that their struggle did not end here. "Justice is getting delayed. It's affecting other daughters of the society. I request the judiciary to tighten their judicial system," she told ANI.
She also said that their faith in the judiciary has been reinstated.
The victim's father said, "All women in the country have received justice today."
#EXCLUSIVE #NibhayaVerdict - All women in the the country have received justice today: #Nirbhaya's father | @TanushreePande with the interview #JusticeForNirbhaya#LIVE Updates: https://t.co/7yNuRL2ZJi pic.twitter.com/4JZhHY8yYm
— News18 (@CNNnews18) July 9, 2018
Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of the National Commission for Women, also welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict. Calling it a "landmark decision", she told ANI that it proves justice can be delayed but not denied, and that "this judgment shows that law takes its own course in this country".
The fourth convict in the case also on a death row, Akshay Kumar Singh (31), did not file a review petition against the Supreme Court's judgment from 5 May, 2017, but his lawyer AP Singh said he would file the plea next week.
In its 2017 verdict, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence the Delhi High Court and trial court had awarded to the convicts for raping the 23-year-old in a moving bus in December 2012.
The main accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Delhi's Tihar Jail in 2013. The juvenile convicted in the case by the Juvenile Justice Board was released from a reform home after serving a three-year term.
With inputs from PTI
The court, hearing petitions challenging exception to marital rape under India’s sexual assault laws, said that it was ‘difficult to appreciate’ that rape affects only unmarried women’s dignity
Senior advocate Raj Shekhar Rao, who is appointed as an amicus curiae to assist the court, argued that husband and wife are “two equals before the law” and there is no reason “why husband’s desire to have sex trump the wife’s desire not to”
The petitioners have challenged the constitutionality of the marital rape exception under Section 375 IPC (rape) on the ground that it discriminated against married women who are sexually assaulted by their husbands