On 17th February, a Delhi court issued fresh death warrants against the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. As per the warrant, the convicts- – Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh are to be hanged on March 3 at 6 AM.
All the four convicts “to be hanged by the neck until they are dead on March 3, at 6 a.m.,” it said.
The death warrants were issued by Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana pursuant to the applications made by the victim’s parents and Tihar jail for the issuance of a fresh date to hang the convicts. This is the third death warrant issued against the convicts in this case. As per the first death warrant, issued by the trial court, Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) were to be hanged on January 22nd which was later postponed to February 1st.
Pawan is the only one among the convicts who hasn’t moved for the curative petition or for the mercy plea yet. During the proceedings on Monday, Pawan’s counsel informed the court that he now wishes to move for the curative petition and mercy plea.
The court was also informed by convict Akshay’s counsel that due to poverty and ignorance, in his earlier mercy petition, complete facts could not be brought before the President and therefore a fresh mercy petition has been prepared to be presented before the President soon.
Vinay’s lawyer informed the court that Vinay was assaulted in the jail and that he has head injuries, adding he was suffering from an acute mental illness and therefore the death sentence cannot be carried out. The court rejected the ground of mental illness to withdraw the death sentence and directed the jail superintendent to take appropriate care of Vinay.
Except for Pawan Gupta, all the other convicts had exhausted the legal remedies available to file a curative petition before the Apex Court. The President of India has also rejected the mercy pleas of the three convicts.
Mukesh’s mother, who was present in the Court during the proceedings on Monday, cried and pleaded before the court with folded hands to show mercy on her son.