Nirbhaya case: Divorce plea deferred as wife a no-show

Despite seeking divorce, Nirbhaya convict’s wife fails to appear before court

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A lower court in Bihar, which was scheduled to hear a divorce petition filed by Punita Devi, wife of Nirbhaya case convict Akshay Thakur Singh, deferred the hearing for next week.

The deferment was done as Punita failed to appear in the court on Thursday. “On Wednesday, she left for New Delhi to meet her incarcerated husband Akshay in Tihar jail. Her meeting with Akshay, who will be hanged on Friday, is scheduled for Thursday,” her lawyer informed the court. She is said to have fainted outside the court after saying that she and her minor son be hanged as well.

"I want justice too. Kill me too. I don't want to live. My husband is innocent. Why is the society after us?", she cried hysterically outside the court.

Singh's wife, who beat herself with sandals, was consoled by lawyers outside.

“She will have to be physically present in the court,” the court observed after 20 minutes of hearing. The court then fixed March 24 as the next date of hearing.  

Punita had filed a petition in the court of Justice Ram Lal Sharma in Bihar’s Aurangabad district on March 17, seeking divorce from her husband Akshay, one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya case, who will be sent to gallows on March 20. In her prayer, 32-year-old Punita said she does not want to lead the rest of her life as a widow. She has a nine-year-old son and stays with her in-laws at Aurangabad.

Though some legal experts felt that the petition was yet another ploy by the convict to delay the execution of death warrant, Punita’s lawyer Mukesh Kumar Singh on Thursday clarified that “the purpose of filing the divorce petition was not to delay the execution order, but to get divorce.”

The lawyer added that Punita left for Delhi after getting notice from Tihar jail authorities who informed her that Akshay’s last meeting with his family members was slated for Thursday.

With PTI inputs

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