'Death sentence kills criminals not the crime', say Nirbhaya’s killers
The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on a review plea filed by Nirbhaya's rapists and killers. The plea said that the two condemned convicts, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta are young and belong to poor families.
The convicts asked the Supreme Court to spare them the death sentence. They were seeking a review of the 2017 verdict by which they, along with two others, were awarded death penalty in the sensational December 2012 gangrape cum murder case.
The lawyer of the convicts, AP Singh claimed they were "not habitual offenders and have no criminal records, so the court must allow them to be reformed."
Singh also said the death penalty has been abolished in many countries. Execution kills criminals and not the crime, he argued. He also claimed his clients were underage when they were arrested.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said, "Death penalty exists in the statute."
The convicts told the Supreme Court that there were discrepancies in Nirbhaya's dying statements and she didn't name the accused.
Special Public Prosecutor Sidharth Luthra countered that all their arguments had been considered by the Supreme Court when it confirmed death sentence in May 2017.
The convicts had challenged the Delhi High Court order which had sentenced them to the gallows, after terming the December 16 incident as a "rarest of the rare" case.
Earlier, the trial court had also sentenced all the four convicts to the death penalty.
The paramedic student was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in South Delhi by six people and severely assaulted before being thrown out on streets naked. The girl died of her injuries on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.