Pawan Gupta, one of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, moved the Supreme Court on Friday, challenging a Delhi High Court order rejecting his claim that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime, PTI reported.
This came hours after a court in Delhi issued new death warrants saying the four would be executed at 6 am on February 1. The other three convicts are Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, and Akshay Kumar Singh. Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh Singh, paving the way for the execution that was initially scheduled for January 22. The other three have not filed mercy pleas.
On Thursday, officials in Delhi’s Tihar Jail had asked for a new execution date and said the convicts cannot be hanged till all the mercy petitions are settled. A convict cannot be executed without being given 14 days’ notice after the mercy petition is rejected.
After rejecting Gupta’s petition last month, Justice Suresh Kait had imposed a Rs 25,000 fine on his counsel AP Singh for wasting the court’s time and using delaying tactics. The judge asked the Bar Council of Delhi to take action against Singh for filing the affidavit.
A gruesome crime
Six men raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. The woman succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore. The gangrape triggered huge protests in the Capital and across the country. One convict died in prison, while a minor convict was sent to a detention home for juveniles and was released in December 2015.
The four were given the death penalty – first by a trial court in September 2013, which was upheld by the Delhi High Court six months later and the Supreme Court in May 2017.