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India’s supreme court upholds death penalty for 2012 Delhi gang-rape convicts

India’s supreme court upholds death penalty for 2012 Delhi gang-rape convicts

India's Supreme Court on Monday upheld the death penalty for three men convicted in the gang rape of a young woman in Delhi in 2012, a landmark case that brought an unprecedented level of attention to violence against women in the country.

The fourth man convicted in the case, Akshay Thakur, did not file an appeal but his lawyer says he plans to do so.

The men were convicted of the gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey, 23, a medical student who was attacked as she travelled home on a bus in 2012. After nearly two weeks, the victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital where she was flown in a last ditch bid to save her life. "This is not justice for all", Singh said.

Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay had appealed for a review of the death sentence.

Her parents welcomed the ruling, with her mother Asha Singh saying it was "very happy news".

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Singh survived long enough to be able to identify her attackers and following a seven-month trial, four of the men were convicted in September 2013 for murder, gang rape, theft, conspiracy and "unnatural acts".

The brutal attack prompted widespread protests throughout the country, sparked a new debate about women's safety in India and resulted in strict changes to the country's rape laws which now allows for the death penalty in some rape cases.

AP Singh, the lawyer for the convicts told ANI, "The sentence was upheld due to public and political pressure".

May 2017: The Supreme Court upholds the high court's decision to give them death sentences.

According to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2016, incidents of rape of children in India increased by over 82 percent compared with 2015, when almost 35,000 rape cases were reported to the police.

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"Where a crime is committed with extreme brutality and the collective conscience of the society is shocked, courts must award death penalty, irrespective of their personal opinion as regards desirability of the death penalty".

Just four convicts have been executed in the last 25 years, including Dhananjoy Chatterjee for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. Dec 29, 2012 the girl succumbed to injuries.

Death sentence will be carried out in case of a refusal from the President. However, the Centre amended the rape law to introduce the death penalty as the maximum punishment in gang rape cases.

Out of the 371 death row convicts in 2017, 43 were awarded the punishment for crimes involving fatal sexual assaults.

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