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Nirbhaya case | Trial court rejects plea of three convicts seeking stay on their execution

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.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Having exhausted all available legal remedies, including mercy petitions before the President, three of the convicts have met their respective families for the last time. The family of one of them did not come to visit him.

The four death row convicts in the December 16, 2012 gang rape and murder case are scheduled to be hanged on Friday morning after a Delhi court on Thursday rejected the pleas of three of them seeking a stay on their execution.

Also read | SC rejects curative petition of convict Pawan Gupta

Having exhausted all available legal remedies, including mercy petitions before the President, three of the convicts have met their respective families for the last time. The family of one of them did not come to visit him.

 

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana rejected the pleas of Akshay Kumar, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma seeking a stay on their execution on the ground that the second mercy plea of one of them was still pending.

Advocate AP Singh, representing the convicts, argued that Akshay’s wife had filed for a divorce in a Bihar court, which was pending. Responding to this, the special public prosecutor said the petition did not fall under the purview of legal remedy in the present case.

On March 5, a trial court issued fresh death warrants for March 20 at 5.30 am for Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan (25), Vinay (26) and Akshay (31).

This comes seven years after the incident in which the four death row convicts; Ram Singh, the fifth accused who has died; and a minor gang-raped a paramedic student and left her fighting for her life for 13 days before she died of her injuries.

The March 20 date has come after a series of postponements. The first death warrants were issued by a trial court on January 7 for execution on January 22 but it was postponed by the court to February 1 and then further postponed to March 3.

The night before the hanging, Tihar Jail authorities said hangman Pawan and Jail Superintendent took stock of the preparation and found everything in order. They also conducted a “mock hanging” on Thursday morning using sandbags. “Just after being told that their review petition has been rejected and their execution date was final, the four convicts started sobbing,” said the jail authorities. They have been in isolation for the past fortnight.

The gang rape and murder was followed by a public outcry that led to the passing of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2013, which widened the definition of rape and made punishment more stringent. The 2013 Act, which came into effect on April 2, 2013, increased jail terms in most sexual assault cases and also provided for the death penalty in rape cases that cause death of the victim or leaves her in a vegetative state. It also created new offences, such as use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe, voyeurism and stalking. The punishment for gang rape was increased to 20 years to life imprisonment from the earlier 10 years to life imprisonment.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:36:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nirbhaya-case-trial-court-in-delhi-rejects-plea-of-three-convicts-seeking-stay-on-their-execution/article31106961.ece

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