Nirbhaya Case: Patiala Court To Hear Plea Seeking Fresh Death Warrant Against 4 Convicts (Photo Credit: Composite Image - File Photo)
Delhi’s Patiala House Court will hear a petition seeking the issuance of a new death warrant against the four individuals including Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, and Akshay Thakur convicted in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case on Monday. This comes after Nirbhaya's parents and the Delhi government moved the court on February 11 seeking fresh death warrants for the four convicts after the Supreme Court granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for the execution of these convicts.
During the last hearing, the Tihar Jail authorities had said that one of the convicts, Pawan Gupta, had informed that he does not need a lawyer. Whereas, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was asked that when the chart reveals that three mercy petitions have been dismissed and that convict Pawan Gupta has not filed the mercy petition yet, why was a fresh death warrant being sought.
However, on Friday last week, the Supreme Court dismissed Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case convict Vinay Sharma’s plea challenging rejection of his mercy petition by the President alleging that it was done in a “mala fide” manner. A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna said no ground of judicial review of rejection of mercy petition is made out by Sharma. The top court also rejected the contention of Sharma that he is mentally ill and said his medical report suggests he is stable.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as ‘Nirbhaya’ (fearless), was gangraped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital. The brutality of the crime shook the nation, leading to country-wide protests and a change in India’s rape laws.
Six people—Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta, Ram Singh and a juvenile—were named as accused. The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013. The prime accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.
He was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. The juvenile, when released, was 20 years old. Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan were convicted and sentenced to death in September 2013.
They were to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail, a Delhi court had announced on January 7 while issuing their death warrants. However, the Delhi government informed the high court during a hearing that the execution of the convicts will not take place on the designated day as a mercy plea had been filed by Mukesh.