When India woke up in the early morning hours of 20th March 2020, they heard the jubilant news that Nirbhaya’s case convicts have been executed finally after 7 years of incessant trial. Her soul may rest in peace now. Justice has been delayed but not denied. Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay were hanged at 5:30 a.m. for the barbaric attack in an empty moving bus on the 23-year-old paramedical student. The girl came to be known all over the world as “NIRBHAYA” as the fearless one. She also received the ‘International Women of Courage Award’ from the US Department of the state, after she died. After gang rape and committing heinous brutalities on the girl, she was thrown naked out of the bus along with her 28-year-old male friend. They were robbed of their clothes and belongings. Her friend was brutally beaten and they both were unconscious when they were dumped on side of the road in dying condition. She was so savagely attacked that her internal organs were revealing out when she was moved to the hospital. After struggling for her life, she died a month later.
Chronology of events: Nirbhaya case
On the night of December 16, 2012, a woman (Nirbhaya) was returning home with her male friend after watching a film. Both boarded an off-duty charter bus at Munirka bus stop. When they stepped into the bus there were six other men including the bus driver. When they realised that the bus was going in the wrong direction and something was fishy, they objected to it. As a result, the other men who were drunk tussled with him. He was knocked down with a rod. Then they started molesting the women, they dragged her at the back of the bus and she was gang-raped persistently for over an hour on the moving bus. When she resisted, an iron rod was inserted into her private parts by one of the juveniles. He ripped off and pulled out her intestines brutally. After assaulting both of them, they were thrown out of the moving bus on the side of the road to die, all naked struggling for the help from the passer-byes.
When passer-byes informed the Delhi police, she was taken to the Safdarjung Hospital. After her medical examination doctor got to know that she was left with only five per cent of intestines in her body. In her statement, she asked for justice against the six culprits. It led to various protests across the country. Everyone wanted the culprits to be hanged. This incident started changing laws about violence against women. A committee was set up by the government of the day to give recommendations on amendments in criminal laws for the crime against women. The committee led by Justice Verma gave its strict recommendations for several offences against women but it rejected to change the law for marital rape and police reform. On the question of capital punishment, the government went against the report. Even though, Verma Committee recommended that giving death sentence “would be a regressive step in the field of sentencing and reformation”.
It was argued that it will provoke the offenders to kill the victim and therefore, stringent punishment should be given instead of a death sentence. Even after such a heinous case and several changes in criminal laws, the violence against women did not decrease in Delhi or the rest part of India.  
Later, she was sent to Singapore for further treatment as there were less chances of her survival but she died after fortnight even though she struggled a lot for her life.
Justice served: Punishments given to the convicts
Six of them including the juvenile was convicted by the court. Namely, Ram, Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay, Akshay. Bus driver, Ram Singh committed the suicide in Tihar jail in 2013. The juvenile was sentenced for three years of imprisonment in a reform facility. In 2013, Mukesh, Akshay, Pawan and Vinay were awarded capital punishment by the trial court. Later, the three convicts except for Akshay filed a review petition of the judgement but it was dismissed and order of review petition by Akshay was dismissed by the Apex Court. Mukesh also filed a mercy petition to President of India which was rejected on 17 January 2020.
Although, they tried to escape from the punishment a lot of times by a series of petitions and mercy petitions filed in the last few months, but almost after seven years, our Judicial System served the justice. Nirbhaya’s mother exclaimed, “JUSTICE DELAYED BUT NOT DENIED”.
The four convicts were hanged on 20th March 2020 in the early morning hours at 5:30 am after the issuance of forth death warrant by Delhi High Court.

Data of crime against women
According to, National Crime Records Bureau Report, released in January 2020: In 2018, totally cases of Crime against women were 3.78 lakh all over the country.
Whereas, in 2015 and 2016 there were 3.59 lakhs and 3.38 lakhs of cases subsequently. Total rape cases in 2018, were 33,356 out of which 5,456 cases were registered in Madhya Pradesh alone which was the highest of all. By the year 2018, 33.6% cases were pending for investigation to be done by the police.
This data clearly shows that crime rates are increasing year by year, women are not safe anymore in their own country.
This indicates a serious question- what is needed to be done by the country to protect its girls and women. Its time to change our mindset only amendments in laws can’t protect our girls and women. Mother’s need to teach their sons how to respect a women’s dignity and how to protect her honour.
In a male-dominated society like India, the stakeholders of education, law, policy-makers and all the people living in this society should leave their gender biases and try to inculcate such values in our future generation that they should respect, give equal opportunities to women and safeguard their honour and dignity. And, it will surely help us to decrease crime against women.

Read MyLawman Post on the hanging of Nirbhaya Convicts here

      About the Author- Ms. Urvi Yadav is a law student at Maharishi Law School, MUIT, Noida. She can be reached at- urviyadav29[at]gmail.com .alert-info

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  1. Also its shame for India that victim family members had to visit the court for years to get her justice.