A Delhi court on Tuesday issued a death warrant against the four convicts in the December 2012 gangrape case and said that they would be executed on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail. Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora further said the convicts have 14 days to use their legal remedies.
Following the verdict, the mother of the gang-rape victim said her daughter had finally got justice. “My daughter has got justice. Execution of the four convicts will empower the women of the country. This decision will strengthen the trust of people in the judicial system,” ANI quoted her as saying. Meanwhile, the convicts’ lawyer AP Singh said a curative petition would be filed in the Supreme Court.
The verdict came after the parents of the victim moved the court seeking to expedite the procedure to hang all the four convicted in the case and also demanded issuance of death warrant against them.
During the hearing, the prosecution said there was no application pending before any court or the President by any of the convicts and the review petition of all the convicts was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
“In between issuance and execution of death warrants of the convicts, if they want to file curative petitions they can do so,” the prosecution said. The counsel for two of the convicts — Mukesh and Vinay — said they were in process of filing a curative petition in the Supreme Court.
A curative petition may be filed after a review plea against the final conviction is dismissed. It is meant to ensure there is no miscarriage of justice, and to prevent abuse of process. A curative petition is usually decided by judges in the chamber unless a specific request for an open-court hearing is allowed.
On December 18 last year, the Delhi court had adjourned the hearing on the death warrants against the four convicts in the case to January 7, observing that “only when their mercy petitions are rejected that death warrants may be issued”.
The gangrape had taken place on a moving bus on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in South Delhi. The woman and her friend, who was accompanying her, were brutally assaulted and thrown out of the bus. After spending several days at a hospital in the city, the woman was shifted to Singapore, where she succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012.
In September 2013, a fast-track court held the four convicts guilty of 13 offenses including gangrape, unnatural sexual assault, and murder of the woman, and attempt to murder her male friend.
On July 9, 2018, the Supreme Court dismissed the pleas of three of the convicts seeking review of its 2017 judgment, upholding the capital punishment given to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court. On December 18 last year, the Supreme Court cleared the decks for the execution of the four convicts after rejecting the review petition of the fourth convict, Akshay Kumar Singh.
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