Nirbhaya rape convicts to be hanged on March 3
On Monday, a Delhi court issued fresh death warrants against the four convicts in the 2012 "Nirbhaya" gang-rape and murder case. The execution will be held on March 3. Previously, a January 31 court order had deferred the execution indefinitely. Later, the Delhi High Court had ordered the convicts to exhaust all the legal remedies available to them in a week's time to expedite their execution.
Convicts to be hanged at 6 am on March 3
The order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana while hearing an application filed by the rape victim's parents and the Delhi government, seeking fresh death warrants for the four convicts. The four convicts—Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31)—will now be executed by hanging at 6 am on March 3.
'Not very happy; hope they are executed on March 3'
Reacting to the development, the mother of the rape victim, Asha Devi, told reporters, "I am not very happy as this is the third time that death warrant has been issued." She added, "We have struggled so much, so I am satisfied that death warrant has been issued finally. I hope they (the convicts) will be executed on March 3."
Previously, execution was scheduled for January 22, then Feb 1
In 2013, the four convicts were handed the death sentence—later upheld by the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court. They were scheduled to be executed on January 22, which was deferred to February 1, until a January 31 order stayed it indefinitely. The execution dates were postponed as the convicts filed mercy petitions, seemingly to abuse a legal loophole to defer their hanging.
Delhi HC directed convicts to exhaust legal remedies within 7-days
Taking cognizance of the convicts' "delay tactics," on February 5, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait of the Delhi High Court directed the four convicts to exercise all available legal remedies within a week's time.
Akshay to file fresh mercy petition before President
On February 11, Vinay filed a writ petition in the SC, challenging the rejection of his mercy petition, which was dismissed on February 14. On Monday, the trial court discharged Vrinda Grover as Mukesh's legal counsel. He will now be represented by Pawan's advocate, Ravi Qazi. The court was also told that Akshay plans to file a fresh mercy petition before the President.
Convict Pawan to also file curative, mercy petitions
Akshay's lawyer, AP Singh, reportedly said that his previous mercy petition could not present complete facts since he is poor and ignorant. Separately, advocate Ravi Qazi said Pawan would also file curative and mercy petitions.
What was the Nirbhaya rape case?
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.