New Delhi. July 9 (NDTV) – The men held guilty of raping and torturing a student on a moving bus in Delhi will hang, the Supreme Court said today, confirming its earlier decision and rejecting the request of three of four convicts for a life term.
The top court’s decision came on a review plea filed by three of the four convicts seeking reduction of their death sentence to a life term. The convicts have one more legal option of challenging their sentence before they appeal to the President for mercy.
“There is no material to review our order,” said three judges led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, on the review petition of Mukesh, 29, Pawan Gupta, 22 and Vinay Sharma, 23.
The fourth death row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, has not filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s judgement in May last year.
The Supreme Court on May 5 last year had upheld the verdict of the Delhi High Court and the trial court sentencing the four men to death for raping the young woman and fatally wounding her.
The men had then appealed to the court to review their sentences, saying it was “cold-blooded killing in the name of Justice”. The court agreed to hear their request in November last year.
The gang-rape and killing of the 23-year-old medical student on December 16, 2012, provoked rage and shock across India and led to big changes to laws on sexual crimes against women.
Of the six accused, bus driver Ram Singh killed himself in his prison cell. The youngest accused, just days short of 18 when he committed the crime, was sent to a juvenile home, from where he was released after serving a three-year term.
The woman, who died after 16 days in hospital, came to be known as “Nirbhaya” or fearless. Her parents have said that all the rapists should be hanged at the earliest, including the youngest.
In its judgement, the Supreme Court had said that the “brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature” of the crime could create a “tsunami of shock” to destroy a civilised society.