The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the plea of two rapists, convicted in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, to spare them from the death row in the name of ahimsa (non-violence), saying death penalty is still considered a "constitutionally valid" punishment under the Indian Penal Code and the court can not ignore the law.
The review petitions challenge the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on May 5, 2017 confirming death penalty for all the four accused.
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In Madhya Pradesh, WCD minister Maneka Gandhi said that a convict had been awarded the death sentence for raping a minor girl after a new law was formulated in the state.
In its 2017 verdict, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence the Delhi High Court and trial court had awarded to the convicts for raping the 23-year-old in a moving bus in December 2012. After nearly two weeks, the victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital where she was flown in a last ditch bid to save her life.
While one of her assailants died in jail, another - a juvenile - was tried by a juvenile justice board and released after he served his three-year sentence. "I believe sooner they're hanged, better it is", Badrinath Singh, father of 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim quoted as saying. If this petition is also rejected, a mercy plea would be their last option.
The defendants" lawyer A. P. Singh "injustice" had been meted out to his clients under "political and media pressure'.
The gang rape sparked demonstrations attended by tens of thousands of people in Delhi and across India, which led to harsher sentences for sex crimes, including the death penalty.
India is one of the countries that still permits capital punishment, typically hanging those sentenced to death.
In its previous judgement, the SC had said that "the brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature" of the crime was capable of creating "a tsunami of shock" that could destroy a civilised society.
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.
"The convicts must be immediately hanged to death", he said.
The apex court dealt with this issue as advocate A P Singh, appearing for convicts Vinay Sharma and Pawan Kumar Gupta, had argued before it about abolition of death penalty in India.