The four accused - Akshay, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh had filed a petition in the apex court challenging HC verdict of death penalty.
The three-judge bench, which gave the decision, was headed by Justice Dipak Misra and comprised of Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.
After the verdict, Nirbhaya's mother expressed satisfaction with the apex court's decision. According to sources, the verdict was welcomed with applause by those present in the courtroom.
Meanwhile, the defence lawyerAP Singh termed the verdict against human rights, "We cannot give capital punishment to set an example in the society, it is a defeat of human rights. Justice not done, we will file review petition after reading the order."
The Government has increased the security of Tihar Jail where the four culprits are serving their sentence to avoid any untoward incident after the verdict.
Here is what SC bench said while giving the verdict:
#Nature and manner of the crime devastated social trust, falls in 'rarest of rare' category
#Victim's dying declaration is consistent; it has been proved beyond doubt and corroborated
#Justice Bhanumati quoted Swami Vivekanand on how should tradition enrich society with knowledge&understanding to ensure justice for women.
#Cannot believe that this kind of crime was committed in this world
#Justice Bhanumati said that there should be systematic education of children of to ensure how they will give respect to women
#It is a barbaric incident
#Taking the serious injuries, the severe nature of offence committed by the convicts, we are upholding the sentence: SC
#Aggravating circumstances outweigh mitigating circumstances: SC
#It is evident that they fulfilled their pleasure by the devilish manner she was treated: SC
Who said what: Reactions on the verdict
# It is a big day for judiciary. I am feeling a lot of relief after the verdict: Union Law Minister RS Prasad
# Many ups and downs came, I made them my strength. I was confident that justice will be done: Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother
# 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, says Tehseen Poonawala
# Justice has finally been done and has brought a closure: Kiran Bedi
# I want to thank everyone, everyone got justice today, says Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother
# Justice delivered in heart-wrenching Nirbhaya case, says Randeep Surjewala
#Now there is no remorse, justice took time but it is served now: Badri Singh, Nirbhaya's father
#In principle, I am against death penalty, but this was such a heinous crime that strictest punishment was needed. Selective nature of the judicial process of our country is why I am against death penalty. What happened in Bilkis Bano case?: Brinda Karat,CPIM
#Delhi Police's investigation stands vindicated, its an important verdict: Deependra Pathak,Delhi Police Spokesperson
#After the verdict, Nirbhaya's mother expressed satisfaction with the apex court's decision. According to sources, the verdict was welcomed with applause by those present in the courtroom.
#Meanwhile, the defence lawyer AP Singh termed the verdict against human rights, "We cannot give capital punishment to set an example in the society, it is a defeat of human rights. Justice not done, we will file review petition after reading the order."
#I am happy that the verdict has been upheld though I wish it had come sooner: Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister
Justice Dipak Kumar is considered highly sensitive towards women-related issues. In the past, he upheld rape as depravity and not curable and recently, passed a woman-friendly judgement saying that "no woman can be compelled to love; she always has right to say no."
Six people gang-raped the 23-year-old Nirbhaya in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. Later, she succumbed to injuries at a hospital in Singapore.
Ram Singh, the main accused in this case had already committed in suicide by hanging himself in the prison. The sixth accused, who was a juvenile had been ordered by the court to serve three years in a reform house.
Trial court and Delhi High Court awarded death penality to remaining four culprits in the case.
Nirbhaya's parent sure that SC will award death sentence
Earlier in the day, Nirbhaya's mother said that she has full faith in the judiciary and is sure that the apex court, through its ruling, will give justice to her daughter.
"We have full faith in the judicial system and I am sure that the Supreme Court will announce death sentence in its verdict for the guilty. I am sure the Supreme Court will give justice to my daughter. This will set an example for the world," Nirbhaya's mother said.
Nirbhaya's father also said that he is sure of the fact that the apex court will award death sentence to the convicts.
"They will be awarded death sentence. Leave Supreme Court, even God will not forgive such people," said Nirbhaya's father.
Here's the timeline of entire case:
#December 16, 2012: Six men, including the 17-year-old juvenile, gang-rape a 23-year-old medical student in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. The girl and her friend were returning home after watching a movie when they were coaxed into the bus by the accused who then beat up her friend before taking turns in raping her.
#March 11, 2013: Main accused Ram Singh commits suicide in Tihar jail.
#August 31, 2013: Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) presided over by Principal District Magistrate Geetanjali Goel finds the juvenile accused guilty of rape and murder of the medical student, sentences him to 3 years in Special Home.
#January 29, 2013: Supreme Court dismisses transfer petition.
#September 13, 2013: Four remaining accused sentenced to death by Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna.
#March 13, 2014: Delhi High Court Bench of Justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani upholds the trial Court verdict.
#March 15, 2014: Supreme Court stays the execution of the accused after allegations of a denial of fair trial.
#December 18, 2015: Delhi High Court refuses to stay the release of the minor accused, who walks free after three years in a juvenile home.
#April 3, 2016: Nirbhaya hearings begin in the Supreme Court, after 19 months of being in cold storage. Justices Dipak Misra, V Gopala Gowda and Kurian Joseph to hear the case.
#April 8, 2016: Senior Advocates Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde appointed Amicus Curiae.
#July 11, 2016: Nirbhaya hearing begins with a change in Bench. Justices Dipak Misra, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan to preside.
#August 1, 2016: An interesting hearing takes place in courtroom 4.
#August 29, 2016: High drama in the courtroom as allegations of police tampering with evidence are made; M L Sharma breaks down.
#September 2, 2016: Advocate M L Sharma concludes his submissions.
#September 16, 2016: Former DCP (Delhi) Chaya Sharma, who was transferred to Mizoram post the Delhi gang rape case attends the hearing
#November 7, 2016: Senior Advocate and Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran makes his submissions in Court, argues for the sentencing order to be set aside.
#November 28, 2016: Senior Advocate and Amicus Curiae Sanjay Hegde argues against the reliability of evidence in the case.
#January 6, 2017: Supreme Court seeks mitigating circumstances from the accused.
#February 3, 3017: Supreme Court decides to rehear the case on the sentencing aspect after the petitioners contend that there have been violations of the procedure.
#March 6, 2017: All the accused submit additional affidavits to the Court.
#March 27, 2017: Supreme Court reserves verdict after nearly a year of hearing the case.