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SC to pronounce on July 9 whether Nirbhaya rapists will be spared death sentence

The Supreme Court on Monday will decide whether the four men sentenced to death for raping and torturing a 23-year-old medical student on a moving bus in Delhi, triggering nationwide protests, deserve any mercy.

The top court will announce its verdict on the review plea filed by two of convicts seeking reduction of their death sentence to a life term.

The Supreme Court had on May 5, 2017 upheld the verdict of the Delhi High Court and the trial court sentencing the four men – Mukesh (29), Pawan Kumar Gupta (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) to death for raping the woman, fatally wounding her and leaving her to die by the road.

The men had then appealed to the court to review their sentences, saying it was “cold-blooded killing in the name of Justice”. The court agreed to hear their request in November last year. A bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had heard the arguments of both the sides and reserved their order in May this year.

The woman, who died after 16 days in hospital, came to be known as “Nirbhaya” or fearless. Her parents have said that all the rapists should be hanged at the earliest, including the youngest.

On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old paramedic student in Delhi was gang-raped by five men and a minor boy on a moving bus that she boarded from south Delhi’s Mehrauli area along with a friend.

Six people were accused in the case. Of these, Ram Singh committed suicide in jail. The youngest accused was reportedly days short of turning 18 on the day of the crime, and was sent to a juvenile home — a move that also triggered a huge row.

 

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