A Delhi court last Monday issued a new death warrant to hang the four accused in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case on March 3 at 6 AM.
|| Dharmendra Singh
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana has issued this death warrant to hang the four convicts – Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31).
This is the third time that death warrants have been issued for these four as if the mockery of our judicial system.
The first date of hanging was fixed on 22 January. But it was postponed to 6 AM on the morning of February 1 following a January 17 court order.
Then on 31 January, the lower court stayed the execution of the four convicts till further orders, as all their legal options were not exhausted.
During the last hearing, Mukesh told the court that he does not want Advocate Vrinda Grover to defend him. The court then appointed advocate Ravi Kazi to present his side.
The court was also informed that Vinay Sharma, the other culprit in the case, is on a hunger strike in Tihar Jail.
Vinay’s lawyer told the court that he was attacked in jail and suffered a head injury. His lawyer also said that he is suffering from serious mental illness so he cannot be hanged.
The court then directed the Superintendent of Tihar Jail to take proper care of Vinay as per law.
Pawan’s lawyer told the court that his client wants to file a corrective petition in the Supreme Court and a mercy petition before the President.
Pawan Gupta is the only criminal among the four criminals who have not yet filed a corrective petition. This is the last legal option for anyone who is judged in the chamber. Pawan Gupta also has the option to apply for mercy.
Akshay Kumar’s lawyer told the court that he has prepared a new mercy petition which will be given to the President.
The Supreme Court had permitted the authorities to go to the lower court seeking a new date for the execution of these culprits.
After that, the court-appointed Kazi to advocate and the Tihar Jail authorities had told the court that Pawan refused to choose the counsel given by the Delhi Legal Services Authority.
A day before that, the court expressed displeasure over Pawan for delaying the process. Pawan’s father told the court that he had removed his previous lawyer and that he needed time to get a new lawyer.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy trainee was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi. The victim died in a hospital in Singapore.
Six people, including Ram Singh and a teenager, were named accused in the case. The hearing of the five adult accused commenced in the fast court in March 2013. Ram Singh committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar Jail shortly after the trial began. The teenager was placed in a three-year correctional home.
The teenager was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns about his life being threatened. He was 20 when he was released.