Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty For Nirbhaya Gangrape Convicts

The Supreme Court on Friday (May 5) upheld the death penalty for the four convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape case.

Poorvi Gupta
New Update
Nirbhaya Photo Exhibition of Courage

The Supreme Court on Friday (May 5) upheld the death penalty for the four convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape case.


The four men convicted in the Delhi gangrape on December 12, 2012, had petitioned against the death penalty awarded to them by the high court in 2014. A bench headed by Justice Deepak Misra and consisting of Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan heard the case.

Justice Misra, who has been a champion of women’s rights and empowerment, had in a recent judgment upheld that “no woman can be forced to love and she always has a right to say no”.

DCW Chief, Swati Malliwal, has welcomed the SC verdict. "Even after such a long wait of 5 years, the decision has finally met the right conclusion. Now all the convicts will be punished with a death sentence and it was crucial because it is not only one Nirbhaya's fight, but all the Nirbhayas of the entire country's fight. It should be a message to the society that if you rape, then the system will not leave you free."

"Great verdict by Apex Court. It was indeed a ghastly act. The incident had pinched the nation conscious. It is a victory for all women. Hope it will deter such dastardly acts in future," said Anil Chopra, judge with the Armed Forces Tribunal in Lucknow.

Nirbhaya’s parents have shown full faith in the judiciary and have always believed that the courts will help them achieve justice for their daughter.

Things to know about the Nirbhaya gangrape:

  • On 12 December 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student named Jyoti Singh aka Nirbhaya exited a South Delhi mall at around 10.30 in the night after watching a movie with a male friend. The male friend and Jyoti took a bus to reach home. The bus had only six people inside, including the driver and conductor, who first beat up the friend and then brutally gangraped Jyoti in the moving bus. They, then, threw Jyoti out on the road.
  • The incident created a huge outcry among the masses and protest marches and candle marches were carried out in order bring justice to Nirbhaya.
  • Nirbhaya was alive after she was thrown out of the bus. She was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital of Delhi after which she was flown to Singapore where she died on December 29, 2012.
  • Soon after the incident came to light, the accused rapists -- Akshay, Pawan, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh, Ram Singh and a juvenile, whose identity has not been disclosed -- were nabbed by the police.
  • The six people accused, except the juvenile, were convicted by the trial court in 2013 and awarded death penalty for the crime they had attempted. The court had said that the “beastly” and “hair-raising” manner in which the crime has been committed makes it a part of the rarest of the rare category.
  • The judgment was then challenged by the convicts and the case moved to the Delhi High Court and it passed its verdict on 13 March, 2014, after a three-and-a -half month long hearing. The HC upheld the trial court’s judgment of death penalty.
  • The juvenile, who is now over 18 years of age, was awarded the maximum sentence of three years in a reform home in 2013 and he walked free in August 2015 in spite of public outrage.
  • While another convict and prime accused Ram Singh hanged himself in Tihar Jail in March 2013 after the trial court’s decision.


12 December 2012 gangraope in Delhi Nirbhaya Rapes in Delhi Supreme Court verdict on Nirbhaya gangrape