Imphal: All four convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case will be executed on March 3 at 6 am. The fresh date was issued by Patiala House court on Monday.
Reacting to the new date, Nirbhaya’s mother said that she was cautiously hopeful that the convicts will be hanged on March 3. “The date has been finally issued, but I am not very happy because this is the third time that the date had to be announced due to postponements. I am hopeful that the convicts will be hanged on March 3,” she said.
Nirbhaya’s father said that the court’s order goes to show that sooner or later criminals are brought to justice.
The court has issued the date of execution of four convicts — Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Singh (31), Vinay Sharma (26) and Pawan Gupta (25) — twice before, but it had to postpone after one or the convict filed a fresh plea.
While all the other convicts have now exhausted their legal remedies, Pawan Gupta can still potentially cause a delay or change in judgment as he can still file a curative plea as well as a mercy petition before the president.
The fresh date of execution was issued by Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana after hearings during which Mukesh Kumar Singh, one of the four death row convicts in the case told the court that he does not want to be represented by advocate Vrinda Grover. The court then appointed advocate Ravi Qazi to represent Mukesh.
The court was also informed that another death row convict, Vinay Sharma, is on hunger strike in Tihar jail.
Vinay was assaulted in jail and has head injuries, his lawyer told the court, adding that he was suffering from acute mental illness and hence the death sentence cannot be carried out.
The court directed the Tihar jail superintendent to take appropriate care of Vinay as per law.
Another convict Pawan Gupta’s counsel told the court that he wanted to move a curative petition before the Supreme Court and the mercy plea against the death sentence before the President.
Pawan Gupta is the only one among the four convicts who has not yet filed the curative petition — the last legal remedy available to a person, which is decided in-chamber. He also has the option of filing a mercy plea.
Akshay Kumar’s counsel informed the court that he has prepared a fresh mercy petition to be moved before the President.
The court was hearing the applications by Nirbhaya’s parents and the Delhi government, seeking fresh death warrants for the four convicts after the Supreme Court granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for the execution of these convicts.