A Delhi court on Monday (February 17) issued a fresh date for the execution of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) are now set to be hanged at 6 am on March 3.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana issued the fresh warrants after hearing applications by Nirbhaya’s parents and the Delhi government, seeking fresh death warrants for the convicts after the Supreme Court granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for their execution.
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Just after a Delhi court issued fresh death warrant, Nirbhaya’s mother expressed hope that the four convicts in her daughters rape-and-murder cases would finally be hanged on March 3. “We hope the order (death warrant) is finally executed,” she added.
The date of execution, first fixed for January 22, was postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order. The trial court later, on January 31, stayed, “till further orders” the execution of the four convicts in the case, who are currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said she isn’t very happy since this is the third time the court issued a death warrant for her daughter’s rapists. “We have struggled so much, so I am satisfied that death warrant has been issued finally. I hope they (convicts) will be executed on 3rd March,” she added.
Timeline of Nirbhaya case
Timeline of Nirbhaya case
Meanwhile, the court was also informed that one of the death row convicts, Vinay Sharma, is on hunger strike in Tihar jail. Vinay was assaulted in jail and has head injuries, his lawyer told the court, adding that he was suffering from acute mental illness and hence the death sentence cannot be carried out.
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The court directed the Tihar jail superintendent to take appropriate care of Vinay as per law. Another convict Pawan Gupta’s counsel told the court that he wanted to move curative petition before the Supreme Court and the mercy plea against the death sentence before the President.
Gupta is the only one among the four convicts who has not yet filed the curative petition — the last legal remedy available to a person, which is decided in-chamber. He also has the option of filing a mercy plea. Akshay Kumar’s counsel too said he has prepared fresh mercy petition to be moved before the President.
(With inputs from agencies)