A Delhi court on Monday issued a fresh date for execution of death warrant against four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The new date of hanging the convicts has been set as March 3 at 6 am.
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana issued fresh warrants against death row convicts- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31).
The court was hearing the applications by Nirbhaya’s parents and the Delhi government, seeking fresh death warrants for the convicts after the Supreme Court granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for the execution of these convicts.
The date of execution, first fixed for January 22, was postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order. The trial court later, on January 31, stayed, “till further orders” the execution of the four convicts in the case, who are lodged in Tihar Jail.
During the hearing, Mukesh Singh told the court that he did not want to be represented by advocate Vrinda Grover, who was appointed last year as amicus curie (friend of the court) for the convict.
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana was also informed that another death row convict in the case, Vinay Sharma, is on hunger strike in Tihar jail.
“Convict Vinay is suffering from acute mental illness and death sentence cannot be carried out,” his lawyer told the court, adding that the convict was assaulted in court and he has head injuries.
Convict Akshay has prepared a fresh mercy petition to be moved before the President, his lawyer told the court.
Further, convict Pawan Gupta wants to move a curative petition before SC and mercy plea before the President, his lawyer told the court. Of the four convicts, he is the only one who has not yet availed the remedy of either curative or mercy petition.
A petition challenging the rejection of mercy plea of convict Vinay Kumar Sharma is also pending before the Supreme Court.
Ahead of the hearing on Monday, Nirbhaya’s mother said, “Several dates (of court hearing) have come and gone but fresh death warrants haven’t been issued yet. But we go with new hope in every hearing. Their lawyers use new tactics every day, I can’t say what will happen today but I’m hopeful”
The four death-row convicts are among six people who were found guilty in the 2012 gangrape and murder case of a 23-year-old paramedical student, later known as Nirbhaya, in Delhi.
One of the five adults accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail during the trial of the case.