The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking the immediate execution of four men convicted of raping and murdering a woman in New Delhi in December 2012. The petition said the convicts had not been hanged even four and a half months after the top court dismissed review pleas filed by three of them. Such a delay in execution sets a bad precedent, the plea said.
“What kind of prayer you are making?” the bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told the petitioner, according to PTI. “You are making the court a joke.”
On July 9, the Supreme Court had dismissed a review petition filed by convicts Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma, who had requested that their punishment be reduced to life sentence. The fourth death-row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, had not filed a review petition.
The four men were among the six who had raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old student in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012. The woman succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore. A minor convict was released in December 2015 after serving three years in a detention home for juveniles, while one convict died in prison.
A trial court had ordered death sentences for the convicts in September 2013, which was upheld by the Delhi High Court six months later. On May 5, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the verdicts of the Delhi High Court and the trial court.
The crime had triggered country-wide protests and demands for better safety of women. The outrage forced the government to introduce new anti-rape laws.