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Four Rapists Who Gangraped Delhi Girl Dubbed “Nirbhaya” To Be Hanged On January 22

AP Singh, lawyer of convicts in the sensational Nirbhaya gangraper-murder case, said they will file a curative petition in the Supreme Court.

NEW DELHI – A Delhi court on Tuesday issued the death warrant against all four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. The execution has been scheduled for 7 am on January 22 and will take place in jail number 3 at Tihar in the national capital.

 

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora, who issued the death warrants, said the convicts can use their legal remedies within 14 days. The four death row convicts — Mukesh, 32, Vinay Sharma, 26, Akshay Singh, 31, and Pawan Gupta, 25 — were produced before the court via video conferencing.

AP Singh, lawyer of convicts, said they will file a curative petition in the Supreme Court.

 

The 23-year-old woman, a paramedic student, was brutally gang-raped and tortured on the night of December 16, 2012, inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. ‘Nirbhaya’ (braveheart), as she came to be known around the country, succumbed to her injuries almost two weeks later — on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.

 

Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petitions.

 

The trial court had earlier directed Tihar jail authorities to seek within a week the response from the four death row convicts as to whether they were filing mercy pleas against their executions with the President of India.

 

 

The court was hearing the applications moved by Nirbhaya’s parents and the prosecution (Delhi government) seeking issuance of death warrant against the convict.

 

The Supreme Court on December 18 had dismissed the plea of Akshay seeking review of its decision, saying the review petition is not “re-hearing of appeal over and over again” and it had already considered the mitigating and aggravating circumstances while upholding the death penalty.

 

During the hearing on Tuesday, the prosecution said there was no application pending right now before any court or President Ram Nath Kovind by any of the convicts and the review petition of all the convicts was earlier dismissed by the Supreme Court.

 

While urging the court to issue the death warrants, the prosecution said, “In between issuance and execution of death warrants of the convicts want to file curative petitions they can do so.”

 

Tihar jail officials will write to Uttar Pradesh Prisons department to seek the service of a hangman and to inform them about the date and time of execution of all the four convicts as decided by the court.

 

Parents express relief and happiness

 

Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi, on Tuesday said her daughter has now got justice. “The execution of the four convicts will empower the women of the country. This decision will strengthen the trust of people in the judicial system,” she said.

 

Nirbhaya’s father, Badrinath Singh, also expressed relief. “It was a long journey, I am happy with the verdict,” he said.

 

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal welcomed the order.

 

“It’s a victory for every citizen of the country, I salute the mother who kept fighting for the past seven years,” she said. “I would also like to thank the judges. Such rapists should be brought to justice in six months.”

 

Proceedings in court

 

When the hearing commenced on Tuesday, advocate ML Sharma appeared before it and said he was representing Mukesh.

 

However, amicus curiae Vrinda Grover, who on the last date was appointed by the court to represent Mukesh, said Sharma had no authority to represent the convict.

 

The court heard the arguments from both of them and directed Sharma to produce ‘vakalatnama’ (a document empowering the lawyer) showing that Mukesh had authorised him.

 

After the court reserved the order for 3.30 pm on issuance of death warrants, Mukesh’s crying mother entered the court room and urged the court to show mercy. But the court refused to entertain her.

 

Speaking to reporters outside, she said her son was being framed because he was poor.

 

The court interacted with all the convicts through video conferencing from Tihar jail, with reporters not being allowed inside the video conferencing room.

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