New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld death sentences against four men in the Nirbhaya gangrape case of 2012. The crime sparked widespread protests and drew international attention to violence against women.

“It’s a barbaric crime and it has shaken the society’s conscience," Justice R. Banumathi said, as a three-judge Supreme Court panel threw out an appeal on behalf of the defendants.

The five men and a juvenile lured the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her male friend on to a bus in New Delhi on 16 December 2012, before repeatedly raping the woman and beating both with a metal bar and dumping them on a road.

The woman died of internal injuries nearly two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.

Four of the attackers were sentenced to death 2013 while the fifth hanged himself in prison during the original seven-month trial. That verdict was upheld by the Delhi high court in 2014.

The four—gym instructor Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Thakur, fruit-seller Pawan Gupta and unemployed Mukesh Singh—then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Here’s a timeline of the Nirbhaya Gangrape case:


■ 5 May: The Supreme Court (SC) upholds death penalty to four convicts, says the case falls under the category of ‘rarest of rare’ and the offence created “tsunami of shock".

■ 27 March: SC reserved verdict on their appeals.

■ 15 April: SC directs police to produce dying declaration of the victim.

■ 15 March: SC stays execution of 2 convicts, Mukesh and Pawan after they filed appeals. Later stays execution of other convicts also.

■ 13 March: HC upholds death penalty awarded to the four convicts.

■ 3 February: SC says it would hear afresh the aspect of awarding death penalty to the convicts.


■ 3 January: HC reserves verdict on convicts’ appeals.


■ 23 September: HC begins hearing the convicts’ death sentence reference sent to it by the trial court.

■ 13 September: Court awards death to all four convicts.

■ 10 September: Court convicts Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay, Pawan of 13 offences including gangrape, unnatural offence and murder of the girl and attempt to murder her male friend.

■ 3 September: FTC concludes trial. Reserves verdict.

■ 31 August: JJB convicts the minor for gangrape and murder and awards three-year term at probation home.Aug 22: FTC begins hearing final arguments in trial against four adult accused.

■ 11 July: JJB holds minor guilty of illegally confining and robbing a carpenter on December 16 night before allegedly taking part in the gangrape. Delhi High Court allows three international news agencies to cover the trial in the case.

■ 8 July: FTC completes recording of testimonies of prosecution witnesses.

■ 5 July: Inquiry (trial) in JJB against juvenile in gangrape-cum-murder case and robbery concludes. JJB reserves verdict for July 11.

■ 22 March: Delhi HC allows national media to report trial court’s proceedings.

■ 11 March: Ram Singh commits suicide in Tihar jail

■ 28 February: JJB frames charges against the minor.

■ 2 February: FTC frames charges against five adult accused.

■ 28 January: JJB says minority of juvenile accused is proved.

■ 17 January: FTC starts proceedings against the five adult accused.

■ 7 January: Court orders in-camera proceedings.

■ 5 January: Court takes cognisance of the charge sheet.

■ 3 January: Police file charge sheet against five adult accused for offences including murder, gangrape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences and dacoity etc.

■ 2 January: The then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir inaugurates fast track court (FTC) for speedy trial in sexual offence cases.


■ 29 December: Victim succumbs to injuries and other medical conditions at 2:15am. Police add murder charge in the FIR.

■ 26 December: Following a cardiac arrest, victim flown to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital by the government.

■ 25 December: Girl’s condition declared critical. Constable Tomar succumbs to injuries.

■ 23 December: Protesters defy prohibitory orders, take to the streets. Delhi Police Constable Subhash Tomar, on duty to control protests, rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

■ 21-22 December: Thakur arrested in Aurangabad district of Bihar and brought to Delhi. Victim records statement before the SDM in hospital.

■ 21 December: Delinquent juvenile nabbed from Anand Vihar bus terminal in Delhi. Victim’s friend identifies Mukesh as one of the culprits. Police conduct raids in Haryana and Bihar to nab the sixth accused, Akshay Thakur.

■ 20 December: Victim’s friend testifies.

■ 18 December: Ram Singh and three others are arrested.

■ 17 December: Police identify four accused – bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta. Widespread protests erupt demanding strict action against the accused.

■ 16 December 2012: Paramedical student gangraped and brutally assaulted by six men in a private bus and thrown out of the moving vehicle along with her male friend. They were admitted to Safdarjung Hospital.