New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday pronounce its verdict on the appeals by four accused in the case of the gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student on December 16, 2012, challenging the Delhi High Court verdict upholding their death sentence.
The verdict will come at around 2 pm.
The six accused were awarded death sentence in September 2013, the sentence being upheld by the Delhi High Court as well in 2014.
While others waited for their fate, Ram Singh, one of the six accused, hanged himself in his cell inside the Tihar Jail in March 2013.
The bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan will pronounce the verdict, on which orders were reserved on March 27 this year.
Hearing on the appeals by the four accused was spread over for almost a year.
The hearings had commenced on April 4, 2016.
Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur had moved the top court challenging March 13, 2014, Delhi High Court verdict upholding the death sentence of all the four.
In the case of Mukesh and Pawan, the Supreme Court had stayed their death sentence on March 15, 2014, and that of Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur stayed on June 3, 2014.
It is being expected that the apex court would not grant relief to the accused as Justice Dipak Misra doesn`t hesitate to give a death sentence and is exceedingly sensitive to women`s rights and liberties.
He has upheld rape as depravity and not curable and recently, passed a woman-friendly judgement, saying that "no woman can be compelled to love; she always has right to say no".
The rape, which had occurred on December 16, 2012, had seen massive protests across India, especially in the national capital, where the countless youth had spilled out on the streets and at prominent places, asking for the heads of the culprits.
The brutal rape by six persons, including a juvenile, was committed inside a moving bus when the victim along with her male friend was returning home from watching a movie and had boarded the bus at Munirka bus stop. The juvenile accused has since been released after completing mandatory probation period in a remand home.
The incident had engulfed the media space like a wildfire for months.
While upholding the conviction and death sentence of the four, the High Court had said, "Society`s abhorrence to atrocious crimes perpetrated upon innocent and helpless victims has resulted in the death penalty being retained on the statute book to remind such criminals that human life is very precious and one who dares to take the life of others must lose his own life."
(With Agency inputs)