The main suspect, Ram Singh and the driver of the bus where the rape took place, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Tihar jail in March. Police said he hanged himself, but defence lawyers and his family alleged he was murdered. They claim that he could only use one arm as he damaged his right arm in an accident.
A 33-year-old widower, he lived in a small two-room shanty in the Ravi Dass slum colony at RK Puram in South Delhi.
A known troublemaker, Ram singh, a school dropout, frequently got involved in drunken brawls.
Mukesh is in his early 20s and is the younger brother of Ram Singh. He lived with his brother and worked as a cleaner on the bus.
According to the police, Mukesh was driving the bus when the student and her male friend were lured into the bus. He is accused of joining the others in raping and hitting the student and her friend with an iron rod.
A 20-year-old gym assistant and fitness trainer, Vinay Sharma also lived in the Ravi Dass slum, not far from the house of Ram and Mukesh Singh.
Vinay is the only one among the accused who is said to have completed his school education and can communicate in English. His demand for bail to sit for his first year college exams was turned down and the court ordered the jail authorities to help him sit for his exams within the jail premises.
Vinay had denied that he was involved in the rape and claimed that he was attending a music concert along with co-accused Pawan Gupta.
Akshay Thakur, a 28 year old school dropout, was arrested from his native village in Bihar. He worked as a helper on the bus and after committing the rape, he tried to destroy evidence by helping wash the bus after the crime.
Thakur moved to Delhi from Bihar in 2011 and is reported to be married and as having a son. He had claimed that he had gone back to his village on December 15, a day before the braveheart was raped.
Pawan Gupta, a 19 year old fruit seller, had refuted the charges and had claimed that he was attending a music function along with Vinay Sharma at the time of the crime.
His father appeared as a witness and claimed his son was innocent, supporting his claims of attending a music function.
While he is said to have admitted to his crime at the beginning of the trial, his lawyer has denied he made any statement.
The sixth suspect from Uttar Pradesh was a minor. He was 17 at the time of the crime and turned 18 during the trial. He was found guilty of rape and murder on 31st August and sentenced to three years in a correctional home under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Eldest of six children, he came to Delhi at the age of 11 and worked in roadside eateries before he started working on the bus.