India’s top judiciary, the Supreme Court reiterated its verdict and upheld the death penalty
for the four men convicted in the ‘Nirbhaya’ gang-rape and murder. The convicted men had
brutally gang raped, assaulted and murdered a paramedical student in the cold winter’s
night of December, 2012. Seen as an exemplary case for similar such cases, the sentence has been received with great enthusiasm. Initially, six men had been convicted, including a
juvenile who is now leading a reformed life somewhere in the country. One of the convicted
had committed suicide in Tihar jail in 2013. The Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case
continues to haunt India.
Here is a timeline of events that has happened till date:
Dec 16, 2012 – The victim, a paramedical student and her male companion board a moving bus in South Delhi. The six men on the bus beat the companion to unconsciousness and brutally gang-rape and assault the victim. Then they throw them out of the bus.
Dec 17, 2012 – Four accused are identified: Ram Singh (bus driver); Vinay Sharma; Mukesh; and Pawan Gupta. They are arrested.
Dec 20, 2012 – The police take the statements of Nirbhaya’s male companion.
Dec 21, 2012 – The juvenile is arrested from a bus terminal in Anand Vihar in Delhi. Police
raid the neighboring state of Haryana and Bihar. They catch the sixth accused, Akshay Thakur. The best doctors are tasked with taking care of Nirbhaya.
Dec 22, 2012 – Nirbhaya records her statement before the SDM in hospital.
Dec 25, 2012 – Nirbhaya’s condition deteriorates. Protests rage in Delhi and throughout the country.
Dec 26, 2012 – She is flown out to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
Dec 29 2012 – India mourns the death of Nirbhaya. She died of multi-organ failure.
Jan 2, 2013 – Former CJI Atamas Kabir inaugurates fast track court for speedy trials in
regards to sexual offense cases.
Jan 3, 2013 – The police file a charge-sheet against the five adult accused on the charges of murder, gang-rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offenses and dacoity.
Jan 28, 2013 –The Juvenile Justice Board rules the sixth accused is a minor.
Feb 28, 2013 – The Juvenile Justice Board charges the juvenile with rape and murder.
March 11, 2013 – The bus driver: Ram Singh is found hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail.
March 21, 2013 – The Govt gives the go ahead for new tougher anti-rape law, including
death of repeat rape offenders.
July 11, 2013 – The Juvenile Justice Board finds the juvenile guilty of illegally confining and robbing a carpenter on the night of Dec 16 before the gang-rape.
July 25, 2013 – The SC seeks fresh interpretation for the term ‘juvenile’.
August 31, 2013 – With approval from SC, the Juvenile Justice Board convicts the juvenile for gang-rape and murder. The juvenile is sentenced to three years in a probation home.
Sept 10, 2013 – The Court convicts the four: Vinay, Pawan, Mukesh and Akshay of 13
offenses inclusive of gang-rape, unnatural offense and murder of the victim and attempted
murder of the companion.
Sept 13, 2013 – All four are awarded death penalty in the fast track court. The case is
referred to Delhi High Court to confirm the sentence.
March 13, 2014 – The Delhi High Court upholds the death sentence.
June 2, 2014 –Two of the four convicted move the Supreme Court against the death
Dec 18, 2015 – The juvenile walks out after completing his three year sentence.
August 2016 – Vinay Sharma attempts suicide, unsuccessfully.
Jan 6, 2017 – SC seeks mitigating factors from the accused.
May 5, 2017 – The SC rejects the plea of the four convicts.
Nov 13, 2017 – The convicts appeal the Apex Court to review the death sentence.
July 9, 2018 – The SC upholds the death sentence.
Earlier this year, the India brought about a change to its penal code, introducing the death
penalty for those convicting of raping children under the age of 12. Gang rapes, and sexual
attacks against women and children, is at an all-time highest in India, with nearly two to
three cases being reported by the media every day.