Former judges of the Delhi High Court on Thursday backed the death penalty for the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, asserting that it was a rarest of the rare case and the “brutality” committed by them on December 16, 2012 deserved the extreme punishment.
While Justice (retd.) S.N. Dhingra stated that death penalty is justified to these four men saying that no mercy should be given to them (the four convicts – Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and Vinay) who had no mercy in their hearts at the time of committing the heinous crime, Justice (retd.) R.S. Sodhi stated that those who don’t value human rights of others, cannot expect mercy.
Speaking to IANS over the phone, Justice Dhingra said: “Issue no mercy to the people who have no mercy in their hearts and minds. If you recall the crime, they (convicts) say how they inserted a rod in her private parts and took out her intestines. They were not repentive then and even now they are not repentive and if you (convicts) are claiming that you were not there (crime spot) after the trial has concluded, it is of no use.”
He also asserted that in the manner in which the crime took place, there is “no alternate punishment” other than death penalty.
Justice Sodhi, while backing capital punishment for the four men — Akshay, Pawan, Vinay and Mukesh said: “If you do not know how to value the human rights of anybody else then you cannot expect the act of mercy to fall upon you.”
“If, at the same time, you have brought brutality to your act and that too at a level that it shocked the conscience of every sane person and therefore if you have shaken the conscience of the country then you deserve to die,” Justice Sodhi added.
The reactions from the former judges came in at a time when less than 24 hours remained for the hanging of the four death row convicts — Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and Vinay which is scheduled for March 20 at 5.30 a.m.
The case pertains to the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl, dubbed later as Nirbhaya, in the national capital in December 2012. Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused.
Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case. The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.