[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

India stays death sentences of rape convicts

Supreme Court suspends execution of two men convicted of gang-rape and murder of student in 2012.

Last updated: 14 Jul 2014 18:52
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
AP Singh, the defence lawyer, said that the prosecution had falsely implicated the two [Reuters]

India's Supreme Court has stayed the executions of two men convicted of gang-rape and killing of a woman, pending their appeal, their lawyer has said.

Gym instructor Vinay Sharma and bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh, along with two others, were convicted last year over the December 2012 attack that caused nationwide outrage.

"The police and the prosecution have falsely implicated them in the case," defence lawyer AP Singh said, saying he planned to continue to argue for their acquittal.

Inside Story Americas - Extra: 'It's a hazard to be an Indian woman'

In March, the Supreme Court put on hold the execution of two others convicted in the case - fruit-seller Pawan Gupta and unemployed Mukesh Singh - while they appealed.

It is not unusual for legal cases to drag on for years in India while convicts appeal.

The victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student who worked in a call centre while she studied, became a symbol of the daily dangers women face in a country where a rape is reported on average every 21 minutes and acid attacks and incidents of molestation are common.

During the seven-month trial, a fifth defendant hanged himself in his cell. A sixth, who was under 18 at the time of the attack, was sentenced to three years' detention, the maximum allowed under juvenile law.

The minister for women and child development, Maneka Gandhi, told reporters on Sunday that juveniles accused of crimes such as rape and murder should be treated on a par with adult offenders.

In response to the public outcry after the rape, the government fast-tracked tougher laws against sex crimes, but it resisted calls to change the law relating to juveniles under 18.

304

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
Palestinians in Gaza have been shocked by the scale of Israeli destruction, as long-term truce efforts continue.
The Positive Action Foundation Philippines, manned by HIV-positive staff, provides care to those who have no one else.
join our mailing list