Earlier on Monday, a Delhi court stayed the execution of all four death-row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case till further order. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy plea of Nirbhaya convict Pawan Gupta on Wednesday. With this, Gupta’s all legal remedies stand exhausted. All eyes will be now on the fresh death warrant that will be issued by the lower court. The 14-day period between the rejection of mercy plea and the hanging will have to be complied with. This means that the fresh death warrant can be issued either on March 17 or 19. Though the convicts’ lawyers may once again try to employ delay tactics to avoid the hanging. This means that the fresh death warrant will be the final for the Nirbhaya convicts. “We are moving a fresh application in Delhi court to fix a fresh date for the execution of the four convicts. All the convicts have exhausted their complete rights. The date which will be fixed now will be the final date,” Seema Khushwaha, lawyer of Nirbhaya's parents, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The father of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim on Wednesday expressed hope that the convicts will be hanged this month, after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four men facing the gallows in the case. "He has one option left -- that is to challenge the mercy plea in Supreme Court as the others have done. Let's see what happens next, but we are confident of getting justice," Nirbhaya's father told PTI over phone.
Earlier on Monday, a Delhi court stayed the execution of all four death-row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case till further order. The court deferred that matter as mercy petition of Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts, is pending before the President of India. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said the death sentence cannot be executed pending disposal of mercy petition of convict Pawan Kumar Gupta. anging of the four convicts was scheduled for March 3 at 6 AM. The trial court on February 17 had issued fresh date for execution of death warrants for March 3 at 6 am for the four convicts - Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31). The mercy petitions of three convicts -- Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay -- have already been dismissed by the President.
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.
(With agency inputs)