Rapist’s ap­peal over death sen­tence fails

COURT PAVES WAY FOR HANGINGS

Manchester Evening News - - WORLD -

IN­DIA’S supreme court has re­jected the fi­nal ap­peal of one of four men sen­tenced to death over the 2012 fatal gang rape of a woman on a bus in New Delhi.

The rul­ing paves the way for the four to be hanged.

The grue­some case ex­posed the scope of sex­ual violence against women in In­dia, prompt­ing MPs to stiffen penal­ties in rape cases.

The vic­tim, a 23-year-old phys­io­ther­apy stu­dent whom In­dian me­dia dubbed “Nirb­haya”, or “Fear­less”, be­cause In­dian law pro­hibits rape vic­tims from be­ing iden­ti­fied, was head­ing home with a male friend from a cin­ema when six men lured them onto a bus.

With no-one else in sight, they beat the man with a me­tal bar and raped the woman. The pair were dumped naked on the road­side, and the woman died two weeks later.

The as­sailants were tried rel­a­tively quickly in a coun­try where sex­ual as­sault cases of­ten lan­guish for years. Four de­fen­dants were sen­tenced to death.

Another hanged him­self in prison be­fore his trial be­gan, though his fam­ily in­sists he was killed. The sixth as­sailant was a mi­nor at the time of the at­tack and was sen­tenced to three years in a re­form home.

One of those sen­tenced to death, Ak­shay Ku­mar Singh, filed his re­view pe­ti­tion ear­lier this month, af­ter the other three had theirs re­jected.

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