Dec 2012 gang rape convicts meet families for the first time in seven years
Tuesday, three days before the scheduled date of their hanging, was the first time when families of all the four convicts of the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case came to meet them inside the prison, prison officers said.
A city court had on January 20 issued a death warrant for the four—Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Kumar Gupta (25), Akshay Thakur (31) and Vinay Sharma (26)—and set February 1 as the day of hanging. While Singh has filed a mercy petition, the other convicts are yet to opt for any legal remedies, such as curative petition before the Supreme Court and mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind.
If Gupta, Thakur and Sharma do not seek legal remedy before Friday (January 31), the prison administration will proceed with the execution, prison officers said. “They haven’t told us anything. Maybe they will use their legal remedy on the day before the hanging so the execution is postponed,” a prison officer, who did not wish to be named, said adding that on Tuesday afternoon, Thakur told a jail officer that he would file a curative petition.
Meanwhile, the prison administration is consulting legal experts to check if at least one of the convicts, whose has exhausted all legal options, can be hanged before the others.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court reserved its judgment in Mukesh Singh’s plea seeking judicial review of the rejection of his mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind. On Wednesday, if the top court dismisses Singh’s plea, he will have exhausted all his legal options.
“If that happens, Singh’s legal options will be over, but with his counsel filing one review after the other, maybe they will come up with something. Meanwhile, we are consulting legal experts and preparing for any outcome,” another senior prison officer said.
As part of the preparation, the jail officers are regularly holding mock sessions inside Jail No. 3, where the hanging is scheduled to take place. The prison administration has bought specially prepared ropes from Bihar’s Buxar Jail, which will be used to hang the four on Saturday.
The four are on death row for the gang rape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student inside a moving bus on December 16, 2012. The young woman died in a hospital in Singapore on December 29.