Four men convicted of gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012 will be executed in spite of their appeals, confirmed the Delhi High Court on Thursday.
Four of the six arrested suspects were given death penalties by a fast-track Delhi court in September 2013. The fifth accused did not live long enough to receive his penalty, as he hanged himself in March 2013. The sixth accused was a juvenile at the time of the assault and was sentenced to three years in a rehabilitation centre.
Defence lawyers of the offenders – Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh and Pawan Gupta – told Reuters they would appeal to the Supreme Court.
Jyoti Singh, reportedly a physiotherapy student, was heading home on a private bus with a male friend on the night of December 16, 2012. Once the bus started moving, the five passengers onboard began taunting the couple for going out together at night and began assaulting the female victim. Her male companion was beaten with an iron rod, gagged, and knocked down when he tried to intervene. The female victim was dragged to the rear of the bus, assaulted, raped and violated with the same metal bar, according to medical reports. The sexual assault reportedly ‘lasted for hours’.