In a rape case, an Indian court commuted death sentences.
The death sentences of three men convicted in a rape case that sparked public outcry about women’s safety in India were mitigated by Mumbai’s top court on Thursday.
The assault in 2013 came after another high-profile gang-rape case in New Delhi the previous year, which sparked nationwide protests and resulted in stricter anti-rape laws.
While on assignment at an abandoned factory property in Mumbai, the three men, together with two accomplices, trapped and violently raped a 22-year-old photojournalist.
In India’s financial center, the Shakti Mills complex is located close to a stylish district of flats, office buildings, stores, and restaurants.
Residents of Mumbai, a city considered far safer for women than the capital New Delhi, were shocked by the attack, which sparked street protests and a national outcry in the national parliament.
All five were apprehended by Mumbai police within a week of the incident.
It caused a 19-year-old telephone operator to come forward and accuse the trio, as well as two other accomplices, of rapping her in the same location a month earlier.
The seven defendants, two of whom were minors, were all found guilty of the two rapes.
Following the 2012 New Delhi case, the legislation was changed to allow serial rapists to face the death penalty.
The three individuals convicted in both Mumbai attacks were sentenced to death by hanging, the first such sentencing under the new law.
They were 19, 21, and 28 years old at the time of their sentencing.
The convictions were affirmed by the Mumbai High Court on Thursday, but the terms were lowered to “rigorous life imprisonment” without the possibility of parole.
According to the news agency PTI, the court stated, “Death puts a stop to the concept of repentance.”
“It is impossible to say that the defendants only merited the death punishment. They deserve to be imprisoned for the rest of their lives in order to atone for their crimes.”