NEW DELHI: She waited for four long years for getting justice for her daughter, who was known across India as Nirbhaya. And justice was served at the end as the apex court upheld the death sentences to four accused of raping and murdering 23-year-old paramedic student — the barbarism of the incident shook the conscience of the entire country in December 2012.
Minutes before the judgment was pronounced, the court room was packed with Nirbhaya’s parents, lawyers and other visitors. At 2 pm, the three-judge bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan assembled. The moment the court pronounced its verdict, Nirbhaya’s parents Asha Devi and BN Singh had tears in their eyes and clapped to express their satisfaction over the verdict, a scene which is usually not witnessed in courtrooms. “I am satisfied, its not the victory for my daughter but for every woman in the country,” a relived Asha Devi told Express, wiping her tears.
The court termed the crime as brutal, barbaric and of diabolic nature while dismissing the appeals filed by four convicts Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh against the Delhi High Court’s order. While one juvenile completed his three-year sentence in a juvenile home, another accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide in Tihar jail.
Justice Misra, who authored the main judgement, said, “It’s a tsunami of shock in the minds of the collective and destroyed humanity. The rape-cum-murder case is rarest of rare cases and we are compelled to give extreme punishment to ensure justice.”
“The High Court has correctly confirmed the death penalty and we see no reason to differ with the same. In view of our preceding analysis, the appeals are bound to pave the path of dismissal,” the judgement reads. Statistically, it’s the fifth death penalty given to the accused in this week. Apart from four on Friday, Justice Misra sentenced another convict of rape and murder of a four-year-old girl two days ago. On the plight of the victim, Justice Misra wrote, “Little did she know on that cold winter night that her world would come to a devastating end.”
The only woman judge in the SC, Justice Banumathi also penned down a separate but concurring judgement. “The present case clearly comes within the category of ‘rarest of rare cases’ where the question of any other punishment is ‘unquestionably foreclosed’. If at all there is a case warranting award of death sentence, it is the present case,” she said. She also suggested separate curriculum in schools for gender sensitisation.
From the order
“The present case clearly comes within the category of ‘rarest of rare case’ where the question of any other punishment is ‘unquestionably foreclosed’. If at all there is a case warranting award of death sentence, it is the present case.”
“It sounds like a story from a different world where humanity has been treated with irreverence.”
“The wanton lust, vicious appetite...have driven the appellant to commit a crime which can bring in a ‘tsunami’ of shock in the mind of the collective, send a chill down the spine of the society.”
“The cruel manner in which the gang-rape was committed in the moving bus... and the coldness with which both the victims were thrown naked in cold wintery night of December, shocks the collective conscience of the society.”
“The gruesome offences were committed with highest viciousness. Human lust was allowed to take such a demonic form.”