3 Nirbhaya convicts approach ICJ seeking stay on execution
Days ahead of their scheduled execution, three of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The three convicts moved the ICJ seeking a stay on their execution, scheduled on March 20. Separately, the request for a curative petition filed by one of the convicts has been rejected by the Supreme Court.
The convicts Akshay Kumar (31), Pawan Gupta (25), and Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) moved the ICJ seeking a stay on the execution of their death sentence. The fourth convict, Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), moved the Supreme Court with a fresh curative plea against his death sentence. The apex court, however, dismissed Mukesh's plea since he has already exhausted all legal remedies available to him.
On January 9, Mukesh had filed a curative petition before the SC through advocate Vrinda Grover. The plea was filed two days after the first death warrant was issued against the four convicts. Mukesh's plea was rejected by the court within the week. The same month, he also appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind for mercy. However, his mercy petition was also rejected.
Mukesh filed a fresh plea before the SC last week through advocate ML Sharma. He claimed Grover had "falsely" informed him that he had to file a curative petition within seven days of the issuance of the January 7 death warrant. He claimed the limitation was three years and asked the court to allow him to file curative and mercy pleas till July 2021.
While hearing Mukesh's petition on Monday, an SC bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah said the plea was not maintainable. Hence, the bench junked the plea. According to NDTV, the court said, "Circumstances say there is no remedy left. You (Mukesh Singh) have availed mercy plea. It was rejected. Warrants issued. The curative petition has been dismissed. What's the remedy left?"
The four convicts are scheduled to be hanged at 5:30 am on March 20. Their execution has been deferred thrice before as all four convicts filed mercy and curative petitions after the issuance of death warrants. Three of the convicts have reportedly had their final face-to-face meetings with family members. Separately, the convicts' families have also asked the President to grant them euthanasia.
The four convicts, and two others, raped a 23-year-old student (dubbed "Nirbhaya") on a moving bus on December 16, 2012. The convicts penetrated her with iron rods, inflicting grave injuries, and the victim died two weeks later during treatment. The fifth accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in prison in 2013. The sixth accused—a juvenile—was sent to a reformation home and was later released.