PIL seeks execution of convicts in Delhi gang-rape case

PIL seeks execution of convicts in Delhi gang-rape case

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to execute four convicts, awarded death penalty in the Delhi gang-rape of 2012, where a 23-year-old girl was brutally assaulted and murdered in a moving bus, sending shock waves across the country.

The petition also seeks a direction to prescribe "strict timelines for speedy execution of death row convicts", a maximum period of eight months after the trial court's judgement to exhaust all remedies, including mercy petition, in rape-cum-murder cases.

"Delay in execution of death penalty is acting like a bad precedent and is not able to act as a deterrent to the rapists and has resulted in increasing incidents of horrific offences of rapes being reported on a daily basis in our country," the petition filed by advocate Alakh Alok Shrivastava stated.

"Unless the strict punishments (already provided in statutes) are not promptly implemented, there would not be any fear of law in the minds of such monstrous rapists," he added. 

The petitioner-advocate had earlier taken up the cause of rape of an eight-month-old girl in Delhi before the top court, leading the Union government to pass an Ordinance on April 24, awarding death penalty for rape of a girl less than 12 years of age.

ALSO READ: A timeline of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case

"Despite the harsh punishments of death penalty introduced by Parliament for rape, there is still an alarming increase in the number of cases of sexual offences reported in our country on day to day basis and, the biggest reason for such alarming increase is delayed execution of death penalties and delay in dispensation of justice," the petitioner claimed. 

In the case of gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old Delhi woman, the petitioner pointed out that even after more than four months from the date of dismissal of the review petition, the convicts are yet to be executed. He cited news report of a "heart wrenching" instance of a 20-year-old man killing nine girls between three and seven years of age after raping them in Delhi, to contend such incidents go on unabated due to the absence of a strong deterrent.

In the case of the Delhi girl, the convicts - Akshay, Vinay, Mukesh and Pawan - were awarded death penalty by the trial court in 2013, which was confirmed by the Delhi High Court the same year. Thereafter, the top court had on May 5, 2017, dismissed the appeals and rejected their review petitions on July 9 against the capital punishment.

Maintaining that the lengthy procedure was leading to inordinate and excessive delay in execution of death penalty and thus ultimately failing to cause any fear of law in the minds of the rapists, the petitioner said in such cases, the appeal in high court should be decided in three months and in the Supreme Court in two months. The review, curative, if any, and mercy petitions of the death row convicts should be decided in a time period of one month each.