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Dec 16 gangrape convicts set to hang March 20

On Thursday, A P Singh, the lawyer for Pawan, Vinay and Akshay, told the court that he will be meeting Pawan today in jail and would thereafter exercise his legal remedies against the rejection of his mercy petition.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
March 6, 2020 2:51:52 am
Delhi gangrape case, Delhi 2012 gangrape case, 2012 Delhi gangrape, 2012 Delhi gangrape convicts, 2012 Delhi gangrape convicts hanging, Delhi news, city news, Indian Express All four convicts, Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24), Vinay Sharma (25) and Akshay Kumar Singh (33), have exhausted their legal remedies.

(Written by Srishti Jha)

A Delhi court has set a fresh date of execution for the four death row convicts in the December 2012 gangrape-murder case on March 20 at 5.30 am. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana observed that the Additional Public Prosecutor and the counsel for the convicts have conceded that it is obligatory on part of the court to issue death warrants.

All four convicts, Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24), Vinay Sharma (25) and Akshay Kumar Singh (33), have exhausted their legal remedies.

“There is no statutory bar in exercise of powers under 413/414 CrPC, rather it is obligatory on the part of this court to discharge the duties cast upon it under the relevant provisions… In view of the same, it is hereby directed that the death warrants, as issued by this court vide order dated 07.01.2020 with respect of the condemned convicts namely Mukesh, Pawan, Akshay and Vinay, shall now be carried into effect by causing the said convicts to be hanged by the neck until they are dead on 20.03.2020 at 5.30 am,” read the court order.

After the new date of execution was fixed by the court, the victim’s mother welcomed the decision. “The morning of March 20 will be the morning of our lives,” she told reporters outside Patiala House court.

The death warrants have been stayed three times in the past, pending legal remedies of the four convicts. On March 2, the court had deferred their execution till further orders observing that the “convict must not meet his Creator with a grievance in his bosom that the courts of the country have not acted fairly in granting him an opportunity to exhaust his legal remedies…”

The Delhi government Wednesday had moved court seeking fresh date for the execution, hours after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected Pawan’s mercy petition.

On Thursday, A P Singh, the lawyer for Pawan, Vinay and Akshay, told the court that he will be meeting Pawan today in jail and would thereafter exercise his legal remedies against the rejection of his mercy petition.

He also submitted that he wanted to meet Akshay to discuss the future course of action. He, however, conceded that as of date, there was no legal impediment upon the powers of the court to proceed with execution of the death warrant.

Ravi Qazi, lawyer for convict Mukesh, also conceded that there was no statutory impediment to proceed with the execution of the death warrant as the convict has exhausted all his legal remedies.

Singh also told the court to direct Tihar Jail authorities to apprise Akshay about the fate of his second mercy petition. ASJ Rana noted, “Needless to say, the Jail Superintendent is duty bound to apprise convict Akshay about the action initiated by jail authorities upon his petitions/representations.”

The hearing on the execution of death warrants had moved forward last year after the victim’s mother moved an application to shift the case from a vacant court, where the matter remained unheard for months. The Tihar Jail administration had also submitted a status report in court, stating that the four convicts had exhausted their legal remedies except for the option of filing a mercy petition.

The case dates back to December 16, 2012, when a 23-year-old woman was gangraped and assaulted inside a moving bus in South Delhi by six persons, before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012.

(Srishti Jha is an intern with The Indian Express)

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