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– Radhika Maheshwari

Six years after the gruesome rape of a 23-year-old para-medical student inside a moving bus in South Delhi, the Supreme Court upholds the death penalty of three gang rape-cum-murder convicts.

The Supreme Court today, i.e. 9th July’2018 dismissed the review pleas filed by the three of the four convicts who were awarded death sentence in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan delivered its judgement on the pleas of Mukesh, 29, Pawan Gupta 22 and Vinay Sharma, 23. “There is no new material to review our order,” said three judges.

The Supreme Court had last year upheld the decisions of the Delhi High Court and the trial court sentencing the four men to death for raping the young woman, who died 16 days after the savage assault. The bench said, “If there is error apparent, miscarriage of justice then only review petitions can be allowed to re-argue the case.”

“Rape cases should be wrapped up at the earliest to ensure justice to the victim and her family. It took the court one year to review the petitions. However, I am happy that my daughter has finally got justice,” the woman’s father told reporters.

In its judgement, the Supreme Court had said that the “brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature” of the crime could create a “tsunami of shock” to destroy a civilized society.

The convicts appealed to the court to review their sentence, saying it was “cold-blooded killing in the name of Justice”. The court agreed to hear their request in November last year.

The gang-rape and killing of the 23-year-old student on December 16, 2012, provoked rage and shock across India and led to big changes to laws on sexual crimes against women.

Of the six accused, bus driver Ram Singh killed himself in his prison cell.

The youngest accused, just days short of 18 when he committed the crime, was sent to a juvenile home, from where he was released after a three-year term.

The woman came to be known as “Nirbhaya” or fearless. Her parents have said that all the rapists should be hanged at the earliest, including the youngest. Reacting to the judgment, the rape victim’s mother said the decision reaffirmed their trust in the Supreme Court. “They were not juveniles. It is unfortunate that they committed such a crime. This decision reaffirms our trust in the court that we will definitely get justice,” mother’s saying as quoted by ANI

“Justice can be delayed but not denied”

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