The Supreme Court today upheld the death penalty for the four convicts for the 2012 gang-rape and murder of Nirbhaya. "The Nirbhaya rape-cum-murder case is rarest of rare case and we are compelled to give extreme punishment to ensure justice," said the apex court, while delivering the order.
The top court was hearing an appeal filed by the four convicts - Akshay, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh - who challenged the Delhi High Court's March 2014 confirmation of the death sentence handed to them by a trial court in 2013.
"The brutal, barbaric, and demonaical conduct of the convicts shook the conscience of humanity and they don't deserve leniency," the top court said.
Nirbhaya's father said something similar this morning.
"Leave the Supreme Court, even God will not forgive such people. They will be awarded death sentence," said Nirbhaya's father.
"Only the death penalty (will do) for culprits now, it should not be denied," Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi had said ahead of the hearing.
"We have full faith in the judicial system and I am sure that the Supreme Court will announce death sentence in its verdict for the guilty. I am sure the Supreme Court will give justice to my daughter. This will set an example for the world," she added
On December 16, 2012, Nirbhaya, the 23-year-old paramedic, was raped and brutalised with an iron rod on a moving bus in Delhi. She and her male friend were then thrown out of the bus. Nirbhaya lost her battle for life in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
The top court today commended the work of the Delhi Police and bringing the criminals to book.
"The investigations done by Delhi Police was fair and impartial and the probe has passed the test of fairness and reliability," the SC said.
Of the six accused, Ram Singh hanged himself in prison, while another, who was a juvenile at the time of the crime, was convicted in August last year and will serve the maximum sentence of three years in a reform home.
When the Delhi high court rejected the convicts' appeal in 2014, it said "debauchery, avarice, profligacy and viciousness appear to be the compelling forces" behind the crime. The court also said the crime was "completely recvolting" and "indubitably been committed in an extremely fiendish, demoniac, barbaric and nefarious manner."
Today's apex court appeal was heard by a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra and comprised Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.