Raju Ramachandran, the Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae in the Nirbhaya gang rape case of 2012,  has told the apex court that the death penalty awarded to all the four accused in the case should be set aside.

Ramachandran has argued that the trial court didn't give the accused a fair trial and so the death penalty should be set aside.

Amicus curiae is a person who is not a party to the case but acts as an impartial adviser to a court in a particular case.

Here's are his arguments against the death penalty:

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The trial court had passed its order on September 11, 2013 and it was confirmed by the High Court. 

You can read the entire submission here.

What next?

So this submission was the first of two parts submitted to the apex court recently. On Friday, the second part of the submission will be made, which will deal with how the courts failed to strike a proper balance between “the aggravating and mitigating factors while pronouncing the death sentence”.

CNN-IBN sought an opinion from former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju on the submission, who trashed it. 

Katju told the channel that "there was no question of looking at mitigating factors in this case as the gravity of the crime demanded death penalty."

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And well, coming from Ramachandran, it shouldn't really come as a surprise because he has been a vocal anti-death penalty advocate for long. As an amicus curiae in the appeal of Ajmal Kasab in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case, he had submitted that Kasab didn't deserve death but life imprisonment. Ramachandran, known for his honest approach in court, also punched holes in a report of the SC-appointed SIT which gave a clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

Four accused were sentenced to death in September 2013

Out of the six accused in the Nirbhaya case, one is dead and another was sentenced to time in a reformation home because he was a minor at the time of the incident. 

The rest were awarded the death sentence in September 2013 after which they appealed against the judgement in the Supreme Court. 

The woman, a 23-year-old paramedic, was brutally gang-raped by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with a male friend on the night of December 16, 2012. She later died in a Singapore hospital on December 29. The incident