The mother of the December 16 gangrape-murder victim urged a Delhi court Wednesday to not delay the execution of the four death row convicts in the case, because she has been waiting for over seven years.
She submitted before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana with folded hands that the court should fix a fresh date of execution of death warrants against the four, opposing the demand of convict Pawan Gupta’s father that he be given more time to engage a counsel on behalf of his son.
Pawan’s father submitted that advocate A P Singh was no longer representing his son. Pawan has not filed a curative petition yet — the last and final legal remedy available to a person, which is decided in-chamber. He also has the option of filing a mercy plea.
The judge said, “This court is of the considered opinion that any condemned convict is entitled to legal aid till his last breath. Granting the prayer made in the applications (for fixing the date of execution)…without hearing the counsel for convict would render further hearings…a superfluous exercise.”
The court observed that the concern for expeditious justice expressed by the victim’s counsel also needs to be addressed.
“In view of the same, the list of empanelled advocates on the panel of Delhi State Legal Services Authority is provided to the father of Pawan and a copy is provided to Jail Superintendent. Convict is at liberty to choose any counsel… from the list,” it ordered and fixed the matter for hearing on February 13.
After the trial court offered legal aide to Pawan, the victim’s mother protested outside the Patiala House court complex over the delay in hanging the convicts.
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