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Delhi Gang-rape: Convicts approach the Supreme Court against the Death Sentence

Apoorva Mandhani
3 Jun 2014 2:25 AM GMT
Delhi Gang-rape: Convicts approach the Supreme Court against the Death Sentence
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Two death row convicts, in the brutal December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape case, have reportedly moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi Court verdict.

Live Law had reported, that the High Court of Delhi had confirmed the death sentence awarded to the accused in the Delhi Gang Rape Case by upholding the decision of a Delhi fast-track court awarding death penalty to four convicts. A Bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani upheld the judgment of the Trial Court after hearing the appeals of the four convicts and also the death reference sent by the trial court. It had said if this case was not “the rarest of rare cases” then “there is likely to be none”. The Court had observed that, this is a case where not only to deter others from committing such atrocious crimes but also to give emphatic expression to society‟s abhorrence of such crimes, death penalty needs to be confirmed established beyond reasonable doubt that it is a case of gravest crime of extreme brutality by the convicts shocking the collective conscience of the society and clearly falls under the yardstick laid down by the Apex Court in various decisions. Further adding that, irrespective of the fact whether the death sentence has deterrent effect or not, to award lesser   punishment to the convicts by letting them escape the death penalty would do more harm to the justice system.

The victim, who was a physiotherapy student, and her friend were thrown out of the bus, on the night of December 16, 2012, after being tortured brutally. The woman died on December 29, 2012 at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Ram Singh along with a juvenile were accused of gang rape and assault on a 23-year-old paramedical student inside a private bus in Delhi. While Ram Singh, committed suicide in Delhi's Tihar jail, the juvenile was sent to a correctional home for three years, the maximum under the Juvenile Justice Act.

The Supreme Court was earlier approached by the two accused, Mukesh and Pawan, who had contended that the prosecution's story which asserts that the victim's end came because of heavy bleeding on account of serious injuries to her intestines was not confirmed by the post-mortem report by the Singapore hospital.

According to a DNA report, hey had contended that their trial was not free and fair, and the trial that began Jan 21, 2013, was under "public/political pressure" with "object to hang the petitioners (Mukesh and Pawan) and other accused people".

Describing the entire trial as "miscarriage of justice", the petitioners had contended that their fundamental right (under article 21 and 22 of the constitution) to have a counsel of their choice was violated as they were represented by a state-appointed advocate. Read the Livelaw story here.

The Fast track Court’s verdict dated 12-09-2013 was one generally welcomed by the Legal fraternity as well as the general public, as reported by Livelaw here. However, the outcome of this plea would now be awaited to discern the future of the two accused.

Read more stories about the Delhi gang rape case here.

Legal News India, Supreme Court News, Supreme Court Judgments, Delhi Gang rape Case.

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