India's top court upholds death penalty in Delhi gang rape case

The judges, in their verdict on Friday, said that even though "all efforts were made to destroy evidence, like running the bus over the victim and her friend", forensics proved their crime "to the hilt".

Mumbai: Bollywood celebrities such as Rishi Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Raveena Tandon have hailed the Supreme Court's verdict awarding the death sentence to four men convicted in the December 16, 2012, gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old woman.

Chirayu Jain, a student of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) said, "Personally I'm for the death penalty and it's good that it creates deterrence in the society".

"The Supreme Court has upheld the Delhi Police and Delhi High Court verdict". Justice Misra upheld rape as depravity and not curable and recently passed a woman friendly judgment, saying that "no woman can be compelled to love; she always has the "right to say no". "If at all there is a case warranting award of death sentence, it is the present case".

They were convicted after sexually assaulting a 23-year-old university student for hours on a moving bus in New Delhi.

"This is a historic decision and will set an example for the courts in dealing with criminals", he told AFP. The convicts, they said, also tried to run over the woman and her friend after dumping them on a road, naked and bleeding.

While Banumathi said she concurred with her male colleagues in the ruling, she also expounded on her reasoning in the case and cataloged the court's approach to affirming the death sentence.

The woman died of internal injuries almost two weeks later in a Singapore hospital. The sixth convict was just short of 18 when he was arrested. The juvenile was sentenced to three years in a correctional home and has since moved to a rural part of southern India where he works as a cook at a restaurant. "Today's verdict is a gift for her", Singh said.

"Women are very, very vulnerable in our country", says Mariam Dhawale of the All India Democratic Women's Association. "They should be taught how to respect a woman and the value of women in the society", Manchu Lakshmi said, indicating that their hanging would not bring down the crime rate in the society.

  • Joanne Flowers