Nirbhaya's rapists to be hanged, SC rejects review petition

India’s Supreme Court reaffirms death penalty for ‘diabolical’ assailants in 2012 fatal gang rape

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan rejected the review pleas filed by Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay stating that no grounds have been made out by them for review of the verdict, reported PTI.

Their daughter - a physical therapy student who became known as "Nirbhaya" which means "fearless" - had gone to see the "Life of Pi" with a male friend at a popular New Delhi mall cineplex on the night of December 16, 2012 when they boarded a private bus to make their way home to a neighborhood on the outskirts of India's capital city.

AP Singh, the lawyer for the convicts told ANI, "The sentence was upheld due to public and political pressure". The woman's friend identifies Mukesh as one of the culprits.

The six gang raped and tortured her with an iron bar as the bus drove loops through the Indian capital. The case triggered angry protests by thousands of people as well as soul-searching about the country's treatment of women.

She succumbed to injuries in September 2013.

Only three of them were involved in the appeal rejected on Monday.

The sixth defendant, a minor accused of pulling out part of the woman's intestines with his own hand, was sent to a reform home for three years and has since been released.

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Sept 13, 2013 remaining four accused were sentenced to death by Additional Sessions Court.

But the four men have maintained innocence and have launched repeated appeals against their conviction.

Former Congress MP and renowned industrialist, Naveen Jindal, said, "Welcome the SC decision dismissing the review petition and upholding death sentence of the rapists".

Following the 2012 case and subsequent protests, some of which were violent, there were demands to overhaul the laws on sexual assaults. "Urge authorities to urgently execute the death penalty and give justice to Nirbhaya".

India has long exercised the death penalty as punishment for serious crimes; its last execution was in 2015 of Yakub Memon for his role in the 1993 terrorist bombings in Mumbai.

More than 370 convicts were on death row as on December 2017, the last official count, down from 399 the previous year.

June 2: Two death row convicts move the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court verdict.

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