The convicts in the December 16 gangrape and murder case will hang, the Supreme Court said on Monday, reaffirming the death sentence of three of the four death row convicts and holding that "no grounds" have been made out to review the top court's decision previous year to give them capital punishment.
Today (July 09), a bench made up of the chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, and justices Ashok Bhushan and R Banumathi dismissed the review petitions filed by three of the accused following the court's May 05, 2017, decision that first confirmed the death penalty.
The court said the death row convicts failed to point out "error apparent on the face of record" in the judgement.
The petitions were filed in the top court to set aside the death sentence awarded to the convicts.
On December 16, 2012, six people gang-raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in a moving bus in Delhi. She died two weeks later of injuries in a hospital in Singapore, where she had been taken for treatment. A juvenile in conflict with the law was tried by a special court and has already served three years in a reform home.
They have now exhausted all their legal options but can still file a mercy petition before India's president.
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The bench also said that these three convicts were heard elaborately during the stage of their appeal against the Delhi High Court's judgement and no case has been made out by them for review of the apex court's verdict upholding the death penalty. The trio had then filed review pleas against sentence.
Her parents welcomed the ruling, with her mother Asha Singh saying it was "very happy news".
But activists say this is just the tip of the iceberg as many victims are afraid to report the crimes due to threats by perpetrators or the social stigma attached to sexual assaults.
The brutality of the crime had led to nationwide street protests and changes in laws regarding sexual violence against women.
The bus driver, the fifth suspect in the crime, was found hanging in his cell in a prison in March 2013, months before the suspects were convicted.
In April 2018, the Centre had approved an ordinance introducing death penalty for those convicted of raping girls aged 12 years or younger, it said.