(Reuters/NAN) India’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld death sentences against four men who fatally gang raped a woman on board a bus in 2012.
The crime sparked widespread protests and drew international attention to violence against women.
Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh were convicted and handed death sentences by lower courts for the fatal rape of Jyoti Singh, which they challenged in the Supreme Court.
“It’s a barbaric crime and it has shaken the society’s conscience,” Justice R. Banumathi told a packed courtroom as the three-judge Supreme Court panel threw out an appeal on behalf of the defendants.
The five men and a juvenile lured the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her male friend on to a minibus in New Delhi on Dec. 16, 2012, repeatedly raping the woman and beating both with a metal bar before dumping them on a road.
The woman died of grave internal injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
Applause broke out in court among relatives of the victim, whose identity is protected by law, as judges explained that the crime met the “rarest of the rare” standard to justify capital punishment in India.
“I am very satisfied.
“Today I am happy,” the victim’s mother said.
Her father said: “It’s not just a victory for my family, it’s a victory for each and every woman in our country.”