Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

2018-07-13 21:47 EYE ON AFRICA

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump rocks the boat in UK

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

World Cup Grand finale; Donald Trump blindsides Theresa May; Erdogan's family business

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ooh la la: Love and dating in France

Read more

ENCORE!

Tom Cruise and 'Mission Impossible: Fallout' bring espionage franchise to Paris

Read more

FOCUS

How sports therapy is helping wounded Syrians

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Portugal: Eucalyptus trees under fire

Read more

REPORTERS

Central African Republic: The way of the warlord

Read more

#TECH 24

Is the future of film interactive?

Read more

Asia-pacific

Top court upholds death sentence for gang-rape that shocked India

© Sajjad Hussain, AFP | An Indian social activist holds a placard during a protest against rape in New Delhi on February 21, 2017.

Video by Mandakini GAHLOT

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-05-05

India's top court on Friday upheld the death sentences of four men who were convicted in the fatal gang-rape and torture of a 23-year-old medical student on a moving bus in the Indian capital nearly five years ago.

The court held that the nature of the crime, which triggered massive protests across India, made it an appropriate case for the death penalty. It described the assault as "most brutal, barbaric and diabolical," according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

The victim's father said he was happy with the court judgment and demanded that the convicts be hanged quickly.

"The court heard our voice and gave justice," Badri Singh said.

Prosecutors said the four - Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh - took their victim to the back of a private bus in New Delhi, raping her and then damaging her internal organs with an iron rod. She died two weeks later of injuries in a hospital in Singapore, where she was taken for treatment.

The outrage over the New Delhi attack prompted quick action on legislation doubling prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalizing voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. Indian lawmakers also voted to lower to 16 from 18 the age at which a person can be tried as an adult for heinous crimes.

Defense attorney A. P. Singh, representing three of the men, said the court should have given a chance to reform and avoided the death penalty. He said he would seek a review of Friday's judgment from Supreme Court judges.

Ram Singh, the bus driver and the fifth suspect in the crime, was found hanging in his cell in Tihar prison in March 2013, months before the suspects were convicted.

The sixth suspect was just months short of 18 years when the crime took place. He walked out of a correction home in December 2015 after spending three years - the maximum punishment for minors - sparking public outrage and an overhaul of the juvenile law.

Indian courts are notorious for delays as more than 30 million cases are pending before them.

In view of the massive protests across the country, the Indian government put the gang rape case on a fast-track trial.

Swati Maliwal, chief of the New Delhi Commission for Women, said people in India were not scared of committing crimes because of long delays in bringing them to justice.

"The fact is that the road to justice is very, very long in this country," she said. "Even in this case, it has taken five years. But at least in five years, we are coming to a conclusion. There are women in the country who have been fighting court battles for 10 to 15 years."

At least six rapes were taking place in the Indian capital every day, she said.

"Nothing much has changed because there is no fear among people that if they do something wrong, they will be punished," she said.

(AP)

Date created : 2017-05-05

  • INDIA

    India bans broadcast of rape documentary

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Indian teenager found guilty in Delhi gang-rape case

    Read more

  • INDIA

    India brings back death penalty over rape, terrorism

    Read more

COMMENT(S)