Nirbhaya case convict’s wife moves court for divorce

Akshay Thakur’s wife says she does not want to live the life of a widow.

March 17, 2020 07:07 pm | Updated March 18, 2020 11:33 am IST - Patna

 Nirbhaya gang rape case convicts, clockwise from top left, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta,Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh.

Nirbhaya gang rape case convicts, clockwise from top left, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta,Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh.

Wife of Nirbhaya case convict Akshay Thakur on Tuesday filed a divorce petition in a local court in Bihar’s northeastern Aurangabad district. Along with three other convicts in the case, Akshay Thakur is to be hanged on March 20.

Also read: Nirbhaya case | Supreme Court to step in if convicts are not hanged on March 20

“My husband is a convict in the Nirbhaya case but he is innocent…Now, I want to be legally divorced from him before he is hanged as I don’t want to live the life of a widow,” Punita Devi, wife of Akshay Thakur, said in her petition filed at a family court in the local district court of Aurangabad. Son of Saryug Singh and Malti Devi, Akshay Thakur hails from the Lahangkarma village of Bihar’s Aurangabad district. The court has fixed March 19 as the next date of hearing.

 

‘Right under Act’

“My client [Punita Devi] has a right to seek divorce from her husband under section 13(2)(II) of the Hindu Marriage Act, which says a woman can seek divorce from her husband if he has been found guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality. I have filed her petition in the family court of the district,” Mukesh Kumar Singh, Punita Devi’s lawyer told local journalists in Aurangabad. Ms. Devi also has a son to look after.

 

However, some advocates in Patna told The Hindu “it [the divorce petition] may be another delaying tactic by a Nirbhaya case accused person but at the same time everyone has a legal right to justice”.

Along with Akshay Thakur, the other three convicts in the Nirbhaya case — Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma are currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail. Earlier, their hanging was postponed twice.

‘Eerie silence’

At the Lahangkarma village, Akshay Thakur’s family members have not been speaking to anyone on the case. An eerie silence has engulfed the village. Even the villagers reluctant to speak, a local journalist told The Hindu over phone.

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