Indian Supreme Court orders Nirbhaya's rapists to hang

Indian defence lawyer AP Singh representing men accused of gang raping and murdering a woman in 2012 talks to the media outside India's Supreme Court building in New Delhi

The 23-year-old physiotherapy student was attacked on a bus as she and a male friend returned from watching a film in December 2012. Besides these two convicts, the apex court also rejected the review plea of another death-row convict Mukesh. It said in a review petition the petitioner can not be allowed to re-argue merits of the case by pointing out certain evidences and materials, which were on the record and were already looked into by the trial court, HC and this court as well. The four convicts-Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay-were awarded death sentence by a Delhi trial court in 2013.

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

Mentioning that there are no grounds to reconsider the 2017-SC verdict, the Court also stated that reviews can be sought only when there are apparent errors resulting in miscarriage of justice and that the convicts cannot use the review petition to re-argue the case. This was upheld by the Delhi high court and later by the SC. That ruling came over four years after the chilling incident that took place on the night of December 16, 2012.

"I appeal to the prime minister to take concrete steps against atrocities towards young girls and women", Asha Devi, the mother of the victim, said. At the time, due to Indian laws that prohibit the naming of rape victims, sections of the media referred to Singh as "Nirbhaya", which means fearless, a nod to her determination to survive in the days after the incident.

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"There is no evidence to show that the death penalty acts as a deterrent for sexual violence or any other crime", said Asmita Basu, a top official of the global rights organization in India. "They'll definitely be hanged very soon for the barbarism they committed", Asha Devi said. One suspect, Ram Singh, was found dead in jail in March 2013, having apparently taken his own life.

A fast track court had covicted four to death in less than year after the brutal gang-rape and murder of the paramedic student. A minor in the case was convicted by the Juvenile Justice Court and served a three year sentence.

She succumbed to the injuries at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012.

According to India's official records on crime, 38,947 women were raped in 2016, which included over 2,000 girls below 12 years age. "What has happened between the confirmation of death sentence and now - there is no diminution of sexual violence against women", Grower said.

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