Delhi Court issues new death warrant to execute 4 gang rape convicts at 6 am on March 3

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRicha Banka
Feb 17, 2020 06:24 PM IST

The parents of the victim moved the Delhi court for issuance of fresh death warrant after the seven-day period given by the Delhi high court expired on February 12.

The four men convicted of rape and murder of the 23-year-old paramedic will be hanged on March 3 at 6 am, a Delhi court said on Monday. This is the third black warrant issued by the court in this case.

A combo picture of the four men convicted in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case.
A combo picture of the four men convicted in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case.

“The death warrant would be now executed on March 3 at 6 am,” judge Dharmender Rana said in a one-line order pronounced on Monday afternoon. The judge had earlier in the day reserved his order after arguments by both sides.

As soon as the judge announced the new death warrant, there were claps in the court.

Also read: What Delhi Prison Rules say on executing death row convicts

The court was hearing the petition filed by the parents of the victim for issuance of fresh death warrant. The parents of the 23-year-old had moved court after the seven-day period given by the Delhi high court to the convicts to exhaust their legal remedies expired on February 12.

““I am not very happy as this is the third time that death warrant has been issued. We have struggled so much, so I am satisfied that death warrant has been issued finally. I hope they (convicts) will be executed on March 3,” said the victim’s mother Asha Devi.

At the hearing today, Tihar Jail’s law officer had handed over a status report to the court.

Also read: ‘Hope they will be executed on March 3’: Delhi gang rape case victim’s mother

Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan apprised the court about the current status of the case and also stated that three out of four convicts have already exhausted their legal remedies.

And as of date, there is no petition pending in any court, Mohan said, arguing that death warrant can be issued.

Also read: December 16 gang rape convicts in Tihar Jail on suicide watch

He also mentioned that Delhi High Court had given seven-day time to the convicts and that period is over.

The mother of one of the convicts, Mukesh Kumar, started crying and pleaded that his son’s death sentence should be commuted to life sentence.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana was also informed by AP Singh, the lawyer of the convicts, that one of them, Vinay Sharma, is on hunger strike in Tihar jail since February 11.

The parents of the 2012 Delhi gangrape case victim, through their lawyer, had told the court during the hearing on Thursday that patience of the society is being tested by this case.

The date of execution for the four convicts - Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) - was first fixed for January 22 in Tihar jail, was later postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order.

The physiotherapy intern was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.

Six people - the four convicts, Ram Singh and a juvenile - were named as accused.

The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013.

Ram Singh, the prime accused, committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.

He was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. He, when released, was 20 years old.

Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan were sentenced to death in September 2013 by the trial court.

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