The landmark judgment in the Delhi gang-rape case saw all four convicts—Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta—get the death sentence.
All four were convicted of gang-raping and murdering the 23-year-old paramedical student on Tuesday. According to TV reports, the four convicts broke down in court on hearing the sentence.
The girl's father said: "Happy with the order. Thank police and media."
The girl's mother said: "My daughter has finally got justice."
dna looks at the death penalty in India:
Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. The judicial decree that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual process of killing the person is an execution.
The Supreme Court of India ruled in 1983 that the death penalty should be imposed only in "the rarest of rare cases." While stating that honour killings fall within the "rarest of the rare" category, the Supreme Court has recommended that the death penalty be extended to those found guilty of committing "honour killings". The Supreme Court also recommended death sentences to be imposed on police officials who commit police brutality in the form of encounter killings.
In an appeal filed by Vikram Singh and another person, facing the death sentence, the constitutional validity of Section 364A of the Indian Penal Code has been questioned.
In addition to the Indian Penal Code there have been a series of legislations enacted by the Parliament which have provisions for death penalty.
Sati is an inhuman practice involving the burning or burying alive of any widow or woman along with the body of her deceased husband or any other relative or with any article, object or thing associated with the husband or such relative. Under, The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 Part. II, Section 4, if any person commits sati, whoever abets the commission of such sati, either directly or indirectly, shall be punishable with death.
The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was enacted to prevent the commission of offences of atrocities against members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Under the Section 3(2)(i)of the Act, bearing false witness in a capital case against a member of a scheduled caste or tribe, resulting in that person's conviction and execution, carries the death penalty.
In 1989, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was passed which applied mandatory death penalty for a second offence of "large scale narcotics trafficking". On 16 June 2011, the Bombay High Court ruled that Section 31A of the NDPS Act, which imposed mandatory sentence, violated Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution and that a second conviction need not be a death penalty, giving judges discretion to decide on awarding capital punishment.
In recent years, the death penalty has been imposed under new anti-terrorism legislation for people convicted of terrorist activities.
The Indian Government had passed an ordinance which applied the death penalty in cases of rape that leads to death or leaves the victim in a "persistent vegetative state" on 3 February 2013, in response to public outcry over the Delhi gang-rape.