On Friday the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case. The bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra, R Bhanumati and Ashok Bhushan upheld the High Court order and held that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating factors. Justice Bhanumati gave a separate but conferring judgement in which she also talked about the increasing rate of crime against women and said that “children should be taught to respect women”. Justice Misra stated that, “It is manifest that the wanton lust, the servility to absolutely unchained carnal desire and slavery to the loathsome bestiality of passion ruled the mindset of the appellants to commit a crime which can summon with immediacy “tsunami” of shock in the mind of the collective and destroy the civilised marrows of the milieu in entirety”
The judgement was met by applause from the crowd present in the courtroom and approval from Nirbhaya’s parents. The Trial Court had passed the initial award of death penalty in September 2013 which was upheld by the Delhi High Court in March 2014.
Due to the complex questions of law raised in this matter, the Supreme Court had appointed two senior Supreme Court lawyers, Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde to argue the appeals filed by the four convicts. They argued that the Trial Court and the High Court had failed to draw up a balance sheet of the mitigating factors and aggravating circumstances before awarding the death penalty while pleading for leniency on the basis of the convicts ages. The Bench however was unmoved while upholding the death sentence and held that, “The casual manner with which she was treated and the devilish manner in which they played with her identity and dignity is humanly inconceivable. It sounds like a story from a different world where humanity has been treated with irreverence.”