Raju Ramachandran, the amicus curiae in the Nirbhaya gang rape case, has given a written submission to the Supreme Court requesting it to strike down the death penalty given to the four accused since the sentence violated fundamental norms.
The senior advocate's submission stated that the trial court committed six fundamental mistakes while giving the death sentence to the accused. The errors include not considering the mitigating circumstances of the accused and not hearing them in person on their punishment.
Ramachandran also said in his written submission that the trial court failed to notify the accused on the imposition of the death sentence and that they were not given enough time to reflect on the sentence. He also said that no effort was made by the trial court to draw out the circumstances of the accused that would have affected the death penalty. The reasons of the death penalty were not mentioned separately with a 'one-penalty-fits-all' order imposed.
"In other words, there was no individualised or personalised hearing or application of mind on the question of sentence," the submission said adding that the range of mitigating factors that could be brought up in case of a death sentence were not told to the accused.
The 23-year-old paramedic student was gang-raped by six people in a moving bus and then thrown out along with her male friend in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012.
Ram Singh, the main accused, committed suicide at Tihar Jail in March 2013, while a juvenile accused was convicted and sent to a reformation home for three years in August 2013. He was released in December 2015.
Vinay Singh, another accused in the case, also attempted suicide at Tihar Jail in August 2016.