The victim’s family outside the Supreme Court on Monday. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
Asha Devi, mother of the 2012 gangrape and murder victim, Monday welcomed the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the petition of three of the four convicts, who had sought a review of the court’s earlier decision awarding them death penalty. However, she said full justice would be ensured once the decision — now “on paper” — is finally implemented.
“We always believed that the SC would dismiss the review petition, that’s why we hadn’t even thought of what future course of action we would take if they had accepted it. We had faith in the judiciary and we have been proved right. This will send a message in society against the kind of brutality that took place,” Devi told The Indian Express.
“For us, however, it’s still a long road ahead to make sure that our daughter gets the justice she deserves. The death penalty is only on paper as of now. We will feel we have got full justice when the convicts are actually hanged. That is when a true example will be set, because there are so many cases in which the death sentence is given on paper but years go by after that,” she said.
Devi said she believed that nothing less than the death penalty could curb such crimes.
Badrinath Singh, the victim’s father, said he was “happy” with the SC decision. “They have sent out a clear signal that for such criminals, no review petition will work, and that they will be punished for their crimes. We knew that there can be no other decision other than for the SC to dismiss the petition,” he said.
In its 2017 verdict, the apex court had upheld the capital punishment awarded to the convicts by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the gangrape and murder case of the 23-year-old paramedic student on December 16, 2012.
Three of the four convicts — Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23) — had filed review petitions. Akshay Kumar Singh (31), the fourth convict, did not file a review petition. Of the remaining two other accused in the case, Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide in the jail, while the other — a minor — was convicted by the Juvenile Justice Board.
The gangrape had taken place on a moving bus on the intervening night of December 16-17 in South Delhi. The woman and her friend, who was accompanying her, were both brutally assaulted and thrown out of the bus. After spending several days admitted to a hospital in the city, the woman was shifted to Singapore, where she succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012.