NEW DELHI: Women activists today termed the Supreme Court verdict on the December 16 gangrape and murder case as "historic" and said although "delayed", it would have a deterrent effect on crimes against women in the country.
The Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case, saying it had sent a "tsunami of shock" all over.
The apex court said that it was a 'rarest of rare' case in which the most brutal, barbaric and diabolical attack was carried out on the 23-year-old woman.
Lauding the Supreme court's verdict, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal said the verdict will give confidence to rape survivors seeking justice and will boost their battle.
"This is not the fight of just one nirbhaya, it is the fight of all nirbhayas and we are glad that the Supreme court has given strength to all those victims who are seeking justice.
"This is a 'Bhahubali' verdict against rapists. With this verdict nirbahaya's soul will find peace. We salute the spirit of nirbhaya's parents who not only fought for their daughter's justice but also changed the Juvenile Justice Act," she said.
Social activist Ranjana Kumari termed the verdict as "historic" and a strong message to all criminals who think they can get away by committing such heinous crimes against women.
Annie Raja, General Secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, though hailed the verdict in this case, asked if death sentence can deter crimes against women.
"Will such crimes against women stop today onwards. This is not the first time that death sentence has been given to criminals," she said.
She said the need of the hour is strong political will and social commitment on the part of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary to ensure that laws are implemented in their letter and spirit to ensure gender equality and justice.
"I will only say that nirbhaya has got justice if no other woman gets raped after this verdict," she said. All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), which welcomed the verdict, is against the death penalty for a number of reasons including the fact that it is often arbitrarily asked for and given.
"Just yesterday, in the Bilkis Bano case, which was also a gangrape and murder case of several members of a muslim family in a communal setting and was equally barbaric and brutal, the High Court judgement awarded life sentence to the 11 accused persons. The CBI, did not press for death sentence.
"It is the certainty of conviction rather than the awarding of death sentence which is important. Several rape cases which have occurred, prior to and after the 'Nirbhaya' case, have not been investigated or prosecuted to obtain convictions and suitable punishments," the Body said in a statement.
AIDWA demanded that all crimes against women including rape cases be dealt with expeditiously to give justice to women.