The Patiala House Court on Monday dismissed an application to stay the execution of the convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case, reported PTI. Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta are scheduled to be hanged at Tihar Jail in Delhi on Tuesday at 6 am.
Convicts Thakur and Gupta had filed the pleas on Saturday. In his petition, 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. Gupta also requested the court to stop his hanging as he filed a mercy petition before the president on Monday.
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana, while reserving judgement on Gupta’s petition, rapped the his lawyer for filing the curative and mercy pleas so late. “You are playing with fire, you should be cautious,” said the judge, adding, “One wrong move by anybody and you know the consequences.”
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court rejected Gupta’s curative petition. He had sought commutation of his death penalty to life imprisonment. Soon after, Gupta filed a mercy plea before President Ram Nath Kovind, PTI reported.
“They have wasted the court’s time and tried to subvert system,” said Asha Devi, the mother of the victim, according to NDTV. “Now they will be hanged tomorrow [Tuesday].”
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, along with 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.