Dec 16 Delhi gang rape verdict: How the case proceeded
The Supreme Court will on Friday pronounce its verdict on appeals by the four convicts of December 16, 2012, gang-rape and murder case against the death sentences awarded to them. The court had stayed the execution of the convicts three years ago.
The 2012 incident led to large-scale protests across the country, forcing the then government to make strict and punitive laws related to the harassment of women.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra had, in March this year, reserved the verdict after hearing the matter that was spread almost for a year.
Here’s a how the court case paned out:
• January 2, 2013: CJI Altamas Kabir inaugurates fast-track court (FTC) for speedy trial in the case
• January 3, 2013: Police files chargesheet against five adult accused of offences including murder, gang-rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences and dacoity etc.
• January 5, 2013: Court takes cognisance of the chargesheet
• January 7, 2013: Court orders in-camera proceedings
• January 17, 2013: Fast-track court starts proceedings against 5 adult accused
• January 28, 2013: The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) declares one of the rapists is a minor, sparking a fierce debate about the criminal justice system for under-18s and demands for him to stand trial as an adult
• February 2, 2013: The five adult accused are charged with a string of offences, including murder, gang-rape, kidnapping and robbery. They are sent to judicial custody in Tihar Jail
• February 28, 2013: JJB frames charges against the minor
• March 11, 2013: Ram Singh, the main accused and a public hate-figure, is found dead in his cell after an apparent suicide. His family and lawyer allege murder
• Mar 22, 2013: Delhi HC allows national media to report fast-track court proceedings
• July 8, 2013: Fast track court completes recording of testimonies of prosecution witnesses in the case
• July 11, 2013: JJB holds minor guilty of illegally confining and robbing a carpenter on December 16 night before allegedly taking part in the gang-rape
• July 25, 2013: JJB defers the verdict in the gang-rape-cum-murder case to August 5 after a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court seeking fresh interpretation of the term “juvenile”
• July 31, 2013: SC asks JJB not to pronounce verdict in the case till it decides the PIL of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy
• August 5, 2013: JJB defers verdict to August 19 as per the top court’s direction
• August 14, 2013: SC reserves order on maintainability of Swamy’s PIL
• August 19, 2013: JJB again defers verdict to August 31
• August 22, 2013: SC allows JJB to pronounce its verdict in the case involving the minor
• August 31, 2013: The juvenile suspect is found guilty of rape and murder and sentenced to 3 years in a correctional facility - the maximum possible sentence for the teenager under Indian laws
• September 10, 2013: A fast-track court convicts 4 accused on all 13 counts of offence
• September 13, 2013: Court awards death to all 4 convicts
• September 25, 2013: Delhi HC begin daily hearing on the death sentence confirmation case against the 4 convicts
• October 8, 2013: Two convicts – Mukesh and Pawan – change their counsel. Advocate ML Sharma is brought in.
• October 28, 2013: HC rejects plea for document translated in Hindi of the case including chargesheets, judgments etc
• November 12, 2013: SC asks HC not to rush through the hearing in the death confirmation case. It also directs the HC to provide Hindi translated documents to the convicts
• November 30, 2013: Victim’s parents challenge the Juvenile Justice Act, seeking a criminal trial against one of the accused who was then a juvenile
• December 11, 2013: The convicts’ counsel begin argument for the defence, says convicts were denied fair trial as they were tortured in jail
• January 3, 2014: The Delhi HC reserves its verdict on confirming the death sentence and appeals of the four convicts
• February 4, 2014: The Delhi HC slammed the Delhi government over the December 16 gangrape case, calling it lethargic and negligent.
• March 13, 2014: The Delhi HC upholds the death sentences awarded to the 4 convicts.
• March 16, 2014: The SC stays the death sentence of Mukesh (27) and Pawan (20)
• June 2, 2014: Remaining 2 death row convicts - Vinay (21) and Akshay (29) - move the SC against the Delhi HC verdict in the case
• July 14, 2014: The SC stays the execution of death penalty of Vinay and Akshay till further order
December 18, 2015: Delhi HC refuses to stay release of the minor accused; he was released after 3 years in a juvenile home
April 3, 2016: SC begins hearing appeals filed by the convict, after 19 months of being in cold storage
November 7, 2016: Senior advocate and amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran argues for the sentencing order to be set aside
November 28, 2016: Senior advocate and amicus curiae Sanjay Hegde argues against reliability of evidence
March 27, 2017: Supreme Court reserves verdict after nearly a year of hearing the case
May 5, 2017: Verdict today