Who doesn’t know about the infamous Nirbhaya gang-rape case? The 23-year-old medical student was brutally and fatally gang-raped by six men including a juvenile on the fateful night of December 16, 2012. And nearly five years after the horrific incident that shocked the nation, the Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentence of the four convicts.
The fifth accused committed suicide in the jail and the sixth was a juvenile, who was released after serving his probation period in a remand home. The remaining four men – Pawan Gupta, Mukesh, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur – had appealed in the SC after the High Court ruling that they should be hanged.
A three-member bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Dipak Misra and Justice R Banumathi upheld the death penalty. The apex court said –
‘The Nirbhaya rape-cum-murder case is rarest of rare case and we are compelled to give extreme punishment to ensure justice… If ever a case called for hanging, this was it…The nature and manner of the crime devastated social trust and is in the rarest of rare category warranting the death penalty.’
The court said in the judgment said that the way the crime happened, ‘it sounds like a story of a different world’. The judgment said –
‘Aggravating circumstances outweigh mitigating circumstances in the case…the offence created a tsunami of shock… Criminal conspiracy of six men is established…all efforts were made to destroy evidence, like running the bus over the victim and her friend… The brutal and demonic manner in which the gang rape was committed, the victim and her friend were thrown out of the bus and the attempt to kill them to stave evidence cannot be accepted or tolerated.’
The judgment further said that scientific evidence like DNA profiling proves that they were present at the crime spot.
Nirbhaya’s father said that while it took time, justice has been served. He said –
‘It took time, but justice was served; now we have no complaints… “It’s a victory for my family, I am very happy with the judgement.’
Nirbhaya’s mother thanked the judiciary and said that her daughter got justice.