After President Ram Nath Kovind refused to consider the second mercy petition filed by 2012 Delhi gang-rape case convicts Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur on Thursday and the Supreme court dismissed the curative petition of Pawan Gupta where he claimed that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime, a Delhi court has cleared the way for the hanging of the four convicts on Friday. While passing the order, the court maintained that no legal remedies of any of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were pending in any of the courts.
On March 5 this year, a trial court had issued the death warrant with March 20 as the date.
Earlier today, the Patiala House Court has dismissed the pleas of Akshay Kumar, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma seeking a stay on the death penalty, saying the second mercy plea of one of them was still pending.
The victim’s family, who have been seeking justice for their deceased daughter for the last 8 year, will today surely heave a sigh of relief, as the four convicts in the 2012 case- Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma, are finally scheduled to be hanged at 5:30 am on March 20 (Friday).
Asha Devi, the mother of the victim said: “The courts gave them so many opportunities that they have now got the habit of bringing something ahead of the hanging date in order to get it postponed. Now, even our courts are aware of their tactics,” Devi told ANI.
She added: “Tomorrow, they will be hanged. Nirbhaya and all the girls in India would get justice. They don’t have any pleas left in order to postpone the hanging date.”
Earlier in the day, hours, before the court was to decide on the execution, the lawyer of the convicts, had once again made an attempt to save the lives of the convicts.
Lawyer AP Singh, who had claimed that one of the convicts Pawan Kumar Gupta was a juvenile at the time of the gruesome crime, called the entire case a media trial and made a bizarre comment that ‘govt should be making masks instead of hanging ropes’.
The visibly upset AP Singh made the comments while talking to reporters after the curative petition filed by Pawan Gupta was dismissed by the Supreme Court today. Pawan had filed the curative petition challenging the Supreme Court order dismissing his earlier review petition making the same claim.
Ever since the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma were rejected by the President, the lawyers of them have been using one delaying tactic after another to postpone their hanging. As the death warrants are issued giving a time of fourteen days, they have been filing petitions separately. Every time a petition of one convict is rejected, another one files a petition, starting the process all over again. But now seems they have almost exhausted all the opportunities of legal review, as no court has stayed the death warrant issued by a Delhi court this time.
Every time death warrant was issued, the Tihar Jail authorities have been making arrangement for the hanging. Pawan Jallad, a hangman from Meerut, reached Tihar jail on 17th for the fourth time in three months in this regard. The Jail authorities have already prepared the gallows, and dummy hanging took place on Wednesday to make sure that everything goes well on the day of execution.
According to reports, the jail has procured 8 manila ropes, 4 to use and rest 4 to keep as standby. Moreover, all the four convicts – Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma – will be hanged simultaneously inside jail number 3.
The four men are currently lodged in jail 3 next to the hanging courtyard. Each convict is lodged separately and guarded by at least 2-3 jail wardens who monitor their movements round-the-clock.