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Indian Supreme Court Rejects Appeal to Keep Young Rapist in Custody

Members of Indian student organization ABVP protest the release of a juvenile convicted in the fatal 2012 gang rape that shook the country in New Delhi, India, Dec. 20, 2015.

India's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to keep a young man in prison. He was one of six males who brutally and fatally raped a young woman in 2012.

The court said Monday that, "under the present law, detention cannot be extended beyond three years."

Five of the men were sent to prison, but the youngest, who was 17 at the time, was sent to a correctional facility for three years; the maximum term allowed under Indian law.

The Delhi Commission for Women filed the petition to keep the young man, now 20, in custody.

In its petition, the commission wrote that the Indian government had not submitted any material "to establish that the mental state of the respondent has been reformed.… The respondent continues to have criminal/perverse bent of mind which poses a serious threat to women."

Badrinath Singh, the father of rape victim Joyoti Singh, said: "There are no words to describe our disappointment. We don't understand all these laws. We only know that the system has failed us."

It is illegal to use the name of a rape victim in India, but last week Joyoti's parents requested that people use her name as part of a campaign to end the stigma attached to rape victims.

The 23-year-old died of severe organ failure after suffering internal injuries and brain damage in the savage gang rape in December 2012.

The outcry over the attack caught the Indian government off-guard. It took a week for then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a statement on the case, infuriating protesters who had taken to the streets.