The Supreme Court of India decided today to uphold the decision of the Delhi High Court to give the death sentences to the four people responsible for the 2012 Delhi Gang rape, the Hindustan Times reports. Although the decision was widely lauded by people inside the court and by many across India, the men’s lawyer, A.P. Singh, said that he will be filing a review petition. Vinay Sharma (21), Akshay Thakur (29), Pawan Gupta (20), and Mukesh Sharma (27) were sentenced to death.
The deadly incident took place on December 16, 2012, in New Delhi, India. Twenty-three-year-old physiotherapy intern, Jyoti Singh, who was on a bus with a friend was attacked and raped by everyone else on the bus, including the driver. Jyoti’s friend was first beaten unconscious by the men. Then, they raped and tortured Jyoti. She died due to her injuries 13 days later in a Singapore hospital. All convicts were subsequently arrested.
Of the six people who were arrested for the crime, Ram Singh was found dead in his prison cell on March 2013. Police reported that Singh had hanged himself in his cell, although there were speculations of murder. Another convict, who was a juvenile when he committed the crime, was sentenced to a maximum of three years in a rehabilitation center by the Juvenile Justice Board. He was released in 2015 and is reportedly living in Southern India, where he works as a cook, the Hindustan Times reports. The man is reportedly unaware of the ongoing situation of the case.
The fate of the remaining convicts was finalized today, when the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Delhi High Court to award death sentences to all four, after the convicts’ lawyer had appealed against the decision.
Regarding is decision to upheld the decision of the High Court, the Supreme Court announced, “If ever a case called for hanging, this was it.”
The four men responsible for the 2012 Delhi gang rape were first given death sentences on September 13, 2013, by a trial court. Following appeals by their lawyer, the matter was moved up to the Delhi High Court, which upheld the decision on January 3, 2014. The lawyer then appealed to the Supreme Court, which made its historic decision on May 5, 2017.
Here is a brief profile on the four convicts of the infamous 2012 Delhi Gang Rape, as compiled by First Post.
Pawan used to be a fruit-seller. He and his family have repeatedly claimed that he was not on that bus when the incident took place. He and his father, Heera Lal, have testified in court that during the night of the incident, Pawan had closed the fruit shop early and left home. Pawan claims that he was at a music function with another convict, Vinay.
Vinay used to be a fitness trainer and a gym assistant. He was the neighbor of Ram Singh, the man who allegedly killed himself in his prison cell. Vinay was the only one with formal education, and during his time at Tihar Prison, he made arrangements to attend his university exams. Vinay had claimed that he was not on the bus when the incident happened and was instead attending a music festival with Pawan.
Mukesh is the brother of the Ram Singh, and he used to work as a cleaner and an occasional driver on the bus. Besides the rape, he has also been accused of hitting the victim and her friend with an iron rod. Mukesh claimed in court that at the time of the crime, he was simply driving the bus and had nothing to do with the assault and rape committed by the other five men.
Akshay used to work as the helper in the bus. Akshay dropped out of school and moved to Delhi in 2011. He has claimed that he had left for his village in Bihar a day before the crime was committed. He was subsequently arrested from his village 5 days after the crime, on December 21, 2012. Akshay has also convicted of rape, murder, kidnapping, and trying to destroy evidence. He reportedly tried washing the evidence of the crime off of the bus.
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