National News

2012 Delhi gangrape: Supreme Court upholds death sentence for all four convicts

The bench said their crime was ‘barbaric’ and that it had taken into condition the seriousness of Singh’s injuries.

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the death sentence for all four convicts in connection with the 2012 Delhi gangrape case. Six men had raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old student in Delhi in December 2012. “It is a victory for my family, I am very happy with the judgment,” her father said.

The bench in its verdict said it was taking into consideration the serious injuries and the severe nature of the offence committed by the convicts, ANI reported. “It is a barbaric incident,” the Supreme Court said. Justice Bhanumati, one of the judges on the bench that passed the order, said a system should be set in place to educate children on how to respect women.

Akshay, Vinay Sharma, Pawan and Mukesh had moved the apex court challenging the death sentence the Delhi High Court had given them. On March 27, 2017, the top court had reserved its judgment on their appeal.

“The court must sentence them to death,” Singh’s mother had told Hindustan Times before the judgment. “We won’t settle for life imprisonment. I am alive and kept myself strong only to see this day.”

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said she was happy with the Supreme Court verdict. “Though I wish it had come sooner,” she told ANI. AP Singh, who represented the convicts in the court, dismissed the verdict. “No one should be sentenced to death just to send out a message to the society. Human rights have been annihilated,” he said.

The convicts’ hearing in the Supreme Court had begun on April 4, 2016, almost two years after a stay order was issued against their execution. Two of the convicts had sought a change in their defence counsel as they alleged that the lawyers had spoken against them to the media. They had requested Justice TS Thakur, who was the chief justice of India at that point, and Justice Deepak Misra to intervene in their favour.

A trial court had ordered death sentences for the convicts in September 2013, which was upheld by the Delhi High Court six months later. However, the Supreme Court had issued a stay order on the sentence after the convicts appealed against it.

Six individuals, including a juvenile, had brutally raped the 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim had succumbed to her injuries on December 29 the same year at a hospital in Singapore. The minor accused was released in December 2015 after serving three years in a detention home for juveniles, while one convict died in prison.

The incident had triggered country-wide protests and demands to ensure better safety for women in India. The outrage had forced the government to introduce new laws on rape.

The chronology of events:

December 16, 2012: Six men rape Jyoti Singh and assault her friend on a bus in New Delhi.

December 18-22: The accused are identified and arrested, one of them is identified as a minor.

December 29: Singh dies in a hospital in Singapore while thousands protest around the country.

March 11: One of the accused, Ram Singh, commits suicide in jail.

August 31, 2013: The minor accused is convicted by the Juvenile Justice Board and sentenced to three years in a remand home.

September 10, 2013: The four adult accused are found guilty of rape and murder, among other charges, and are sentenced to death by a trial court.

March 13, 2014: The Delhi High Court upholds the death sentences.

May 5, 2017: The Supreme Court upholds the death sentences.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

Play

The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.