Nirbhaya gangrape case: When defence lawyer invoked Mahatma Gandhi to save his clients
The Supreme Court today upheld the Delhi High Court’s order to award death sentence to the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case.
Reacting to the verdict, defence lawyer AP Singh said that he was disappointed with the apex court saying ‘court can’t hang anyone just to send a strong message to the society’.
Terming the verdict as a ‘slaughter of human rights’, he said, “Justice is not done. We will file review petition after reading the order. You cannot give a death sentence to anyone for a message to the nation. The meaning of punishment is improvement. There is a right to live. In this, the human rights have been neglected, Mahatma Gandhi's ideology has been neglected as this is violence.”
According to reports, the entire court room broke into applause when a three-member bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice R Banumathi delivered the verdict.
Arguing on behalf of the rapists, Singh had invoked Mahatma Gandhi to convince the apex court to overturn the High Court’s order.
He said that ‘convicts in the case are not criminal by nature and that there is no criminal record available against them’.
“Our country follows Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology, why are we fuelling violence in the society?” he told the court.
Singh further said that the ‘convicts are still immature, they are students… unemployed. Akshay Kumar was jobless when he arrived here from Bihar’s Aurangabad. Vinay Kumar was a student of BA and he was working as gym trainer. Pawan Gupta was assisting his father to early livelihood,” he added.
After listening the arguments made by Singh, the court observed that the case definitely meets the rarest of rare benchmark.
“If ever a case called for hanging, this was it,” the court ruled.
The Delhi High Court had in 2014 upheld the conviction and death sentence of the four by a local court.