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Nirbhaya Rape Case: Supreme Court confirms death penalty

India’s Supreme Court has confirmed that the four men accused of gang-raping a woman in New Delhi in 2012 will face the death penalty. A bench of the Supreme Court comprising of the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Banumathi dismissed the review petitions filed by the accused challenging the Apex Court’s May 05, 2017 decision that first confirmed the death penalty imposed by the Session Court as confirmed by the High Court of Delhi.

The case which triggered nationwide protests took place on a private bus which the victim had boarded along with a male friend on the night of December 16, 2012. The young woman who was attacked, died from her injuries several days later.

In the years since then, authorities in India have tried to improve existing laws to keep women safe. But sexual harassment and assault remain the norm across the country, and crimes against women and even children have only increased. A research conducted by Human Rights Watch has shown that when it comes to the process of getting justice, rape survivors often face even more brutality, thanks to insensitive doctors and policemen. So, while today’s judgement is a solid step forward for women’s rights in India, there’s clearly a long way to go.

The Supreme Court said that the case amounted to a devastation of social trust and completely destroyed the collective balance, inviting the indignation of society. Recalling the immense torture that the victim had to go through, the top court said the acts itself demonstrated the mental perversion and inconceivable brutality of the convicted.

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