Delhi gang-rapists to appeal

The four Indian men condemned to death for rape and murder of an Indian woman are back in court to appeal sentences.

    Four men convicted of rape and murder of Indian woman appear before court to appeal death sentences  [Reuters]
    Four men convicted of rape and murder of Indian woman appear before court to appeal death sentences [Reuters]

    The four men condemned to death for the murder and gang-rape of female Indian student have been brought back to court to confirm they would appeal their sentences.

    The convicts were presented before the High Court in New Delhi on Tuesday where a panel of two judges said they would take up the case from Wednesday.

    "The court will start hearing the background to the case from tomorrow. We will file our appeal shortly," said Vivek Sharma, the counsel for convict Pawan Gupta.

    "We are keeping our fingers crossed," Sharma added.

    The lawyers for the other three convicts -- Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh -- told the court that they would also appeal the sentencing.

    Earlier, lawyers had indicated to reporters their intention to appeal but this was the first time that they had confirmed their move in court.

    Death sentence

    A trial court sentenced the men on September 13 over the gang rape of the 23-year-old woman on a bus in Delhi, who died nearly a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.

    The court said that the crime fell into the "rarest of rare category" that justified capital punishment.

    There had been a huge clamour for the gang to be executed for their attack which shocked the nation and triggered a debate on the way women are treated.

    The convicts are currently being held at the capital's high-security Tihar Jail.

    The fifth member of the gang, a minor at the time of the assault, was sentenced last month to three years in a reformatory, the maximum penalty allowed under India's juvenile laws.

    A sixth suspect in the case, bus driver Ram Singh, died in prison in March in an apparent suicide.


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