India’s Supreme Court upholds death sentence in Delhi rape case

The top court pronounced its judgment on the review petition filed by three out of the four convicts handed the death penalty.

India’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence in the 2012 New Delhi bus gang-rape case, a crime that sparked widespread protests leading to stronger anti-rape laws.

The country’s top court upheld its own judgment on the death sentence given against four men who had fatally gang-raped Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, on a moving bus in Delhi.

“There is no material to review our order,” said the three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, on the review petition filed by three out of the four convicts – Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma – handed death penalty.

Badrinath Singh, the victim’s father, said his daughter has “finally got justice”.

“… It took the court one year to review the petitions. However, I am happy that my daughter has finally got justice,” Singh told reporters.

Of the six people arrested, one committed suicide in prison in 2013, while the juvenile was sentenced to three years in a reform facility and released in 2015.

The brutal crime had sparked widespread protests and drew international attention over violence against women in India.

A fast-track court had convicted four to death in less than a year after the brutal gang-rape and murder of the paramedic student. It was later upheld by the high court.

Rohan Mahajan, the lawyer representing the family of the gang-rape victim, said it was a “victorious moment”.

“Faith in the judiciary has been reinstated. We are satisfied today…” Mahajan told local ANI news agency.

According to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2016, incidents of rape of children in India increased by over 82 percent compared with 2015, when nearly 35,000 rape cases were reported to the police.

In 2016, police in India registered 38,947 rape complaints, an increase of 12.4 percent from the previous year.

The number of rapes reported each year in Delhi has more than tripled over the last five years, registering an increase of 277 percent from 572 in 2011 to 2,155 in 2016, according to data released by the Delhi Police.

Source: Al Jazeera