Delhi court rejects gang-rape convicts’ petitions, day before hanging

A Delhi court on Thursday rejected the petition filed by the death row convicts in the 2012 gang-rape and murder case, seeking a stay on their execution.

Advocate AP Singh, appearing for the convicts, apprised the court about the pending cases in different courts and sought a stay on the execution due to the impact of coronavirus spread on the functioning of courts.

“Show me the law which impedes the execution of the death warrant at this stage,” Judge Dharmendra Rana said.

Public prosecutor Irfan Ahmad opposed the application saying the curative petition of one of the convicts Pawan Gupta has been rejected by the Supreme Court, and a second mercy plea of Gupta and another convict Akshay Singh Thakur has not been entertained by the President.

“All the pending application are not their (convicts) legal remedies provided by the Constitution of India. He (AP Singh) can move any number of applications before various courts. But these are not the legal remedies. They have exhausted and availed all their remedies,” Ahmad told the court.

Thakur’s wife fainted outside the court after the order. “We were living with the hope that we will get justice but we are being killed everyday for the past seven years,” she said.

The Delhi court order came a day before the four convicts – Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta – are scheduled to be hanged. On March 5, a trial court had issued fresh death warrants for March 20 at 5.30 am.

The case pertains to the brutal gang-rape and killing of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in the national capital. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.