The 2012 Nirbhaya Gang Rape and Murder case has finally seen the day of “justice delivered” on March 20, Friday at 5.30 am. This is the day when the four remaining convicts, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur, of Nirbhaya Gang Rape and Murder case were hanged till death as per the schedule.
The counsel, AP Singh, of the four convicts tried various tricks to bring a stay on the death penalty by challenging the death warrant in the Delhi high court at the late night of March 19. However, the bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula heard Singh’s arguments and termed it as “petition without foundation”. The last minute hearing took place at Justice Manmohan’s residence.
The bench dismissed the petition citing no ground to justify the stay on the execution. “No valid ground has been brought to my notice to justify the stay of execution of death warrants,” said the court while dismissing the plea by the four convicts.
Notably, the court made a sharp remark on Singh’s immaterial arguments and stated that the court doesn’t have time for this. “The time is close for your clients to meet god. Why waste our time? We have no time.” the bench rebuffed at AP Singh on his lack of preparedness for the last minute crucial arguments. The court stated that his petition doesn’t have indexes, annexures, list of dates, etc.
The counsel of the four convicts, Singh, accused the judiciary system of working under pressure. He said that his clients’ case has been made the matter of prestige and hence the case couldn’t see a fair trial. The convicts’ counsel then moved to supreme court in the wee hours of March 20. However, Supreme Court in it’s late night hearing dismissed AP Singh’s petition to stay the execution of his clients, the four convicts.
The case is more than 7 year old case when a 23-year old paramedical student was gang raped and murdered by six inhumane criminals. Out of 6, one accused, Ram Singh, died in police custody allegedly by suicide. One more convict was a juvenile at the time of crime and hence he was awarded only 3 year wide imprisonment and then left free.
The rape and damage to the victim’s body was so grievous that her intestine was seen protruding out from her private parts, doctors treating her had claimed. The victim named as Nirbhaya by media, succumbed to her injuries after surviving for 14 days from the day of her rape. She passed away in Singapore while being treated in a hospital there.
The court trial went for a fast track hearing and on September 10, 2013, the four convicts were declared guilty in the gang rape and murder case. The four convicts were ordered death by hanging till death. The order was challenged in the higher, Delhi High Court, by the convicts but the Court upheld the guilty and death penalty judgement of the lower court. On Dec 18, 2019, the Supreme Court court also upheld the death penalty judgement of the lower court as well as the Delhi High Court.
The convicts’ counsel tried to elude the four convicts’ death penalty by thrice banishing the death warrant issued against the four convicts. The first death warrant was issued on January 7, 2020 by a Delhi court against the four convicts to be hanged on January 22, 2020. On January 17, the Delhi court issued a fresh death warrant since Mukesh’s petition was pending before President Ram Nath Kovind. The date was fixed as February 1 for their mass execution. However, on January 31, the Delhi court stayed the four convicts’ execution as Pawan and Vinay had their legal remedies available.
On February 5, the Delhi High Court granted the four convicts to utilize their all legal remedies. On February 17, the Delhi court issued a fresh date for execution and that was March 3. However, the same court stayed their execution on March 2 for sine die. Then came the final death warrant against the four convicts on March 5 when it was decided that the four convicts will be hanged till death on March 20, Friday at 5.30 am.