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A Delhi Court today issued death warrant against four convicts in Nirbhaya gang rape case. As per the warrant, the four convicts ie. Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and Vinay will be hanged on January 22 at 7 am.
The order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora pursuant to a plea by Nirbhaya’s parents to expedite their execution.
While issuing the death warrant against the four convicts, the Court has observed,
"As is apparent from the record, sufficient time and opportunity was given to the convicts/respondents to exercise and exhaust their remedies as availble to them under the law. Either the remedies have been exercised and exhausted by the Respondents/convicts or have not been resorted to despite being afforded sufficient time and opportunity. In these given facts and circumstances when reasonable time and opportunity. In these given facts and circumstances, when reasonable time and opportunity has been afforded to the convicts/respondents to exercise their remedies, there is nothing to delay any further in passing orders on the applications seeking issuance of death warrants."
On December 16, 2012, six men in Delhi had brutally gang-raped a young woman, later named ‘Nirbhaya’, in a moving bus. The victim succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore. The six accused were apprehended by the police.
Of the six accused, the main accused committed suicide in Tihar jail during the course of the trial and the juvenile accused was sentenced to three years in a remand home upon conviction. The remaining four were handed a death penalty by the Additional Sessions Judge.
The four convicts had then approached the Delhi High Court in appeal. After the High Court upheld the lower court verdict, the Supreme Court too upheld the death penalty in May 2017.
In July 2018, the Supreme Court dismissed review petitions filed by three of the accused i.e Mukesh, Vinay and Pawan.
The fourth convict, Akshay's review petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court in December last year.
Amicus Curiae Vrinda Grover today informed the Court that two accused, Mukesh and Vinay were desirous of filing a curative petition in the matter.
Counsel appearing for State, Prosecutors Irfan Ahmed and Rajeev Mohan today argued that nothing prevented the Court from issuing the death warrant since neither any petition nor a mercy plea before the President was pending.
Even after an execution warrant was issued, it could be stayed subsequently if any legal remedy was preferred, it was argued.
Counsel for Nirbhaya's parents, Advocate Jitendra Jha also raised concerns of delay in the case and urged the Court to issue an execution warrant.
The four convicts may now choose to file a curative petition before the Supreme Court or prefer a mercy plea before the President of India.
Read the Order: