Nirbhaya Case: SC Reserves Judgment

Nirbhaya Case: SC Reserves Judgment

The Supreme Court, on Monday reserved its verdict in the brutal 2012 Delhi gang rape case. The Bench, comprising Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan, reserved the judgment in the appeal filed against the death sentence handed down to four convicts by the Trial Court and the Delhi High Court.

On December 16, 2012, five men and a juvenile had lured in the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her male friend onto a bus in Delhi, where they repeatedly raped the woman, and beat both with a metal bar before dumping them on a road. The woman, later dubbed Nirbhaya (meaning fearless), died of her injuries two weeks later.

Four of the adults were sentenced to death, while the fifth hanged himself in prison. The High Court had confirmed the sentence in March, 2014, in view of the “nature of the crime”. The juvenile was convicted on August 31, 2013, and sentenced to three years in a reformation home. He was released in December, 2015.

The Apex Court had then, in February, agreed to re-examine and re-assess the capital punishment, accepting the contentions put forth by Senior Advocates, Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde, who had been appointed as amicus curiae in the case. Both of them had significantly argued that several principles of code of criminal procedure had not been followed while awarding death sentence to all four convicts.

Mr. Ramachandran had argued that charges and nature of crime alleged against each one of them were separate, and hence, all of them could not have been sentenced to death in one brush, without hearing them separately on the point of sentence.