Two of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape on Saturday filed pleas in a Delhi court seeking a stay on their executions, PTI reported. The convicts, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta, along with two others – Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma – are to be hanged in Tihar Jail on March 3.
In his petition, Akshay Thakur said that he had filed a fresh mercy plea before President Ram Nath Kovind, which is pending. Advocate AP Singh claimed that the first mercy plea to Kovind, which was rejected, did not contain all facts.
The court directed Tihar Jail authorities to respond by March 2 to Thakur’s plea against his hanging.
On the other hand, Pawan Gupta wanted his hanging put on hold because his curative petition against the death sentence is pending in the Supreme Court. Gupta had filed the petition on Friday. In his plea, Gupta wanted his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
The four convicts 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.
The death warrants were first issued for January 22, and then postponed to February 1 because of the mercy pleas filed by two of the convicts. Gupta was the only one among the four convicts who had not availed of the legal remedies. His counsel had told a sessions court in Delhi earlier this that he could not avail any legal remedy as his earlier lawyer did not meet him during the seven-day period granted by the Delhi High Court.
The four men, and two others, raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus in Delhi 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.