Around five years after a 23-year-old medical student who was gang-raped and brutally tortured on a moving bus in Delhi, the Supreme Court has pronounced its verdict, confirming death for all four convicts. In 2013, a trial court had ruled that the culprits should be hanged and the sentence was confirmed by the High Court. However, the four accused – Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh – challenged the sentence in the Supreme Court.
On December 16, 2012, the woman and her friend boarded a bus in south Delhi as they were returning after watching a movie. The two were then attacked and the woman was gang-raped by six men. She was brutalised with an iron rod and her intestines were pulled out. 13 days later, she breathed her last in a Singapore hospital.
In March 2013, Ram Singh, the bus driver, was found hanging in his cell in Tihar jail, months before the accused were convicted. Last August, Vijay Sharma had also allegedly attempted suicide.
The sixth convict was a minor when he participated in the horrific crime. In December 2015, he walked out of a correction home after spending three years there. Three months is the maximum punishment for minors, however, this sparked public outrage and an overhaul of the juvenile law. A juvenile between the age of 16 and 18 years can now be treated as an adult if they are involved in a heinous crime.
Here is who said what:
Former AG Soli Sorabjee: Will send right message, you can't get away with cold-blooded murder. SC judgment is quite correct
MoS Home Hansraj Ahir: We welcome the Supreme Court's decision. 1.25 crore population of India got joyed
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar: It is a great decision, I feel it will have good impact
Union Law Minister RS Prasad: It is a big day for judiciary. I am feeling a lot of relief after the verdict
Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother: Many ups and downs came, I made them my strength. I was confident that justice will be done
Tehseen Poonawala: Even today after Nirbhaya so many women continue to be raped/humiliated and denied justice. I hope today we reach out to them as well
Kiran Bedi: Justice has finally been done and has brought a closure
Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi: I want to thank everyone, everyone got justice today
Randeep Surjewala, Congress leader: Justice delivered in heart-wrenching Nirbhaya case
Nirbhaya's father: It's a victory for my family, I am very happy with the judgement
Nirbhaya's mother: I am happy and satisfied with the verdict
Deependra Pathak, Delhi Police Spokesperson: Delhi Police's investigation stands vindicated, its an important verdict:
Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister: I am happy that the verdict has been upheld though I wish it had come sooner:
AP Singh, lawyer of convicts: You cannot hang anyone for giving a social message, it's a violation of human rights. Justice not done, we will file review petition after reading the order
Finally a JUST closure in #Nirbhaya's case.While the memory of the brutal gangrape is still fresh in our minds.— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) May 5, 2017
It has a stronger deterrence
Sometimes 'democracy' needs to be strict & merciless, otherwise number of criminals will increase day by day #Nirbhaya— Priyanka Gandhi (@WithPGV) May 5, 2017