A Delhi court has adjourned the hearing in the December 2012 gangrape-murder case to December 18 after it was informed that one of the convicts, Akshay, has filed a review petition before the Supreme Court, which will hear the plea on December 17.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora said he will wait for the review petition hearing in the Supreme Court and issued a fresh notice to the four convicts and their lawyers to appear before the court on December 18. The court has to decide whether to direct Tihar Jail authorities to expedite the execution of the convicts.
The four convicts were supposed to be produced before the court, however, due to security concerns, they could not be produced.
During the hearing, Dr AP Singh, counsel for three convicts – Vinay, Pawan and Akshay – filed a status report before the judge regarding the various stages of their legal remedies. He told the judge that there was also a case pending before the Delhi High Court over the issue of one of the convicts’ juvenility.
The judge asked Singh as to why was he filing this reply at this stage, saying, “You are making this an endless exercise.” The counsel for the victim’s mother, Jitender Kumar Jha told the court, “These are just delay tactics, my lord.”
The Special Public Prosecutor in the case, Rajiv Mohan, and Additional Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmad told the court that it has to issue the death warrants and there was no impediment stopping it from issuing death warrants.
Amicus Curiae in the case Vrinda Grover told the court that if warrants are issued, then it will set a time for the Supreme Court.
The Tihar Jail authorities on October 29 informed the four convicts on death row that they have “exhausted” all legal remedies, “except the provision of filing of mercy petition” before the President of India.
The notice to the four convicts — Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24), Vinay Sharma (25) and Akshay Kumar Singh (33) — was signed by the Superintendent, Central Jail No. 2, Tihar Jail.
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.
One of the accused, Ram Singh, hanged himself in jail, while another, a juvenile, was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment in a reform facility.
In September 2013, a fast-track court held the four convicts guilty of 13 offences including gangrape, unnatural sexual assault and murder of the woman, and attempt to murder her male friend.