Day ahead of the scheduled execution of the four convict rapist-murderers in the gruesome December 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case, Delhi’s Patiala House Court has stayed the execution and deferred the matter as mercy petition of Pawan, one of the convicts, is pending before President Kovind.
Earlier today, preparations were underway at the Tihar Jail in Delhi for the execution of Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder convicts, which was scheduled to happen at 0600 on March 3, 2020. The executioner Pawan Jallad had reached the Jail premises on Sunday evening and examined the hanging house.
On reaching the jail, Pawan was taken to Jail number 3 where he inspected the hanging house for over 30 minutes. The main doors of all the barracks were closed as the executioner reached the jail precincts. The path leading to the hanging house was evacuated for Pawan’s visit. At the hanging house, Pawan climbed the platform to ensure that there is no rust surrounding the lever. He also saw the dummy prepared for execution. According to jail officials, the executioner will conduct a death sentence trial on Monday.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court of India today junked the curative petition filed by one of the accused in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case, Pawan Gupta. Gupta was the only one amongst the four convicts in the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi dubbed “Nirbhaya” by the media who was yet to exhaust all his legal remedies. Gupta urged the top court of reducing his sentence to life imprisonment citing his juvenility at the time of committing the crime. However, the court dismissed his plea.
Hours after the apex court rejected Pawan Gupta’s curative petition, he filed a mercy petition before the President. The mercy petitions of the three other convicts – Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar – have already been dismissed by the President.
On the other hand, the victim’s mother called out the dilatory tactics employed by the convicts. “They are misleading the courts, they are violating the law. There are some instances when one is forced to question our country’s judicial system but I still have faith in it. I am sure the convicts will hang tomorrow,” the victim’s mother said after the Supreme Court rejected Pawan’s curative petition seeking a change of his sentence from capital punishment to life imprisonment.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) March 2, 2020
As per the latest reports, the Pawan Gupta’s lawyer had moved a mercy plea to the president, expecting a stay on the execution. Since his plea was pending before the President of India, the execution of all four convicts has now been stayed.
The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She eventually succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
The top court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.
Note: This article has been updated with latest development.