The Supreme Court will on Friday deliver the verdict in the appeals filed by the four convicts who have been sentenced to death in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case which shook the conscience of the nation.
The crime in which a 23-year-old lost her life to brutal assault by six persons had also led to the drafting on the 2013 Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which later was known as the Nirbhaya Act prescribing death sentence for someone who commits rape, leading to the death of the victim or causes her to be in a persistent vegetative state.
Today’s verdict is going to be authored by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Bhanumathi after a series of hearing which concluded on March 27. The hearings had gone on for almost a year on regular basis. If the bench decides to reject the pleas of the convicts, then it would confirm their death sentence.
In March 2013, Ram Singh, another accused was found hanging in Tihar Jail. Thus the remaining four, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh, had appealed the apex court to consider their sentence.
In his 7-page report, Ramachandran argued that the trial court denied a fair hearing to the accused and that the accused were treated like a “homogenous class of condemned criminals” without being given any “individualised sentencing process”.
Even Hegde raised serious doubts on the merits of the evidence submitted by the prosecution based on which four convicts were sentenced to death. The amicus curiae also raised questions on Nirbhaya’s dying declaration and said that there were severe discrepancies in the statement.
However, on the last day of the hearing when the verdict was reserved, Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the prosecution had pleaded the court that the four death row convicts do not deserve any leniency and only capital punishment would do justice to the diabolical nature of the crime committed.