The 23-year-old paramedic was brutally gang raped on the night of December 16, 2012.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved verdict on appeals filed by convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case challenging the death sentence awarded to them by the trial court and confirmed by the Delhi high court.
A three-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ms. R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan reserved verdict on the appeals after a marathon hearing spread over nine months from July 2016. The bench heard counsel for the four convicts, M.L. Sharma, two senior lawyers Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hedge and senior counsel Siddharth Luthra for Delhi government justifying the punishment. The 23-year-old paramedic was brutally gang raped on the night of December 16, 2012.
by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend. She later died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012. The prime accused in the case Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail and the trial against him was abated. The sixth accused, the juvenile, came out in December last after serving out his three year sentence.
The Delhi high Court confirmed the death sentence awarded to the convicts Vinay Sharma (21) and Akshay Thakur (29), Mukesh (27) and Pawan Gupta (20) for the December 16, 2012 incident in the capital. The apex court had stayed their execution.
It was argued on behalf of the convicts that there was no “substance or material piece of evidence” and there were contradictions in the depositions of the victim and her friend, who had accompanied her in the bus, about the offence and the offenders. It was contended that the testimony of the SDM cannot be relied on as she had deposed that the victim was “comfortable, happy and willing to record her statement.” Disputing the veracity of the dying declaration of the victim, they argued that she was not fit enough to record her statement and hence, the statement made through gestures cannot be relied upon. The High Court failed to appreciate this before awarding death sentence to appellants.