Nirbhaya convicts to be hanged on Jan 22

Nirbhaya convicts to be hanged on Jan 22

File photo of the four convicts

Seven years after the horrific gang rape and killing of 23-year-old Nirbhaya, a Delhi court on Tuesday issued the death warrant against the four convicts for their hanging on January 22.

All the four convicts – Akshay, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay -- lodged in Tihar jail have yet not exhausted their all legal remedies like filing of curative petitions in the Supreme Court and mercy plea with the President.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora, however, passed the order for execution of the convicts for 7 am on January 22 on an application filed by Nirbhaya's parents.

Delhi government led by prosecutor Rajeev Mohan supported the plea before the court, saying no application of the convicts was pending before any court. There was also no plea pending before the President, so there was no obstacle for the court to issue death warrant, he said, adding that if the convicts wanted to file any plea, they could do so in between issuance of death warrant and execution, he said.

Vrinda Grover, appearing as amicus curiae, submitted a report after interviewing the convicts. She said the process of filing curative petitions was underway. She also said that jail authorities gave misleading information to the convicts that the only remedy available with them was a mercy petition.

The convicts were produced before the court through video conferencing. On an objection by one of the convicts, the court ordered the media persons to be kept out of the courtroom.

Immediately after the order, Nirbhaya's mother said the execution of the convicts, faith of women in the country in law and justice would be strengthened.

Convict Akshay's counsel M L Sharma said he would soon file the curative petition in the Supreme Court, which is the last window of opportunity to seek reconsideration of the judgement.

Advocate K K Jha, who represented the parents of Nirbhaya said the convicts adopted delaying tactics to avoid hanging, as the death penalty against them had already been upheld by the top court and their review petitions also dismissed.

23-year-old paramedic student was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons. They took away all the belongings of her and her friend and threw them on the road in naked condition. The girl had succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012, at a hospital in Singapore. One accused Ram Singh had died in jail, a minor convict was released after being kept in an observation home.

The incident had triggered a massive outrage across the country, forcing the then government to pass the Criminal Amendment Act, 2013 bringing death penalty as the maximum punishment in rape cases.

On December 18, the top court had dismissed review petition by Akshay. The review plea of three other convicts against capital punishment was rejected by the top court on May 5, 2017.

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