All four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder of a young physiotherapy student were hanged in the National Capital's high-security Tihar prison on Friday at 5.30 am.
The hanging was carried out as per schedule after a three-judge Supreme Court bench rejected the final plea by the convicts' lawyer AP Singh to stay their execution in a late-night hearing.
For the first time in the history of India, four convicts were hanged at the same time. This was also the first executions in India since 2015.
The victim's parents — mother Asha Devi and father Badrinath Singh — hailed the hanging saying that their daughter had finally got the justice, seven years after she was brutalised in a moving bus in the National Capital.
A Delhi court had on 5 March issued the death warrant for the four convicts — Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh — to be executed at 5.30 am at Tihar jail.
The jail authorities woke up the four convicts, who had been kept in four separate cells amid tight security, at 3.30 am as per jail manual, two hours before the execution time. The four had reportedly spent a restless night.
Earlier on Thursday, Akshay Thakur had moved the Supreme Court challenging rejection of his mercy petition. The apex court rejected his plea. Also, the lower court refused to stay the execution.
#WATCH Asha Devi, mother of 2012 Delhi gang rape victim says, "As soon as I returned from Supreme Court, I hugged the picture of my daughter and said today you got justice". pic.twitter.com/OKXnS3iwLr
— ANI (@ANI) March 20, 2020
The convicts then moved to Delhi High Court late on Thursday evening. The high court too refused to stay the execution.
Finally, the convicts' lawyer approached the Supreme Court post midnight and requested an urgent hearing in the case. A three-judge bench heard the case at 2.30 am on Friday.
After an hour of hearing, the bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and JAS Bopanna rejected the petition, observing that the arguments being presented by the convicts' lawyer had been repeated before various courts earlier and lacked the merit to challenge the rejection of mercy petitions by the President.
The four convicts, along with two others including Ram Singh and a juvenile, had raped and brutally tortured a 23-year-old paramedic student on a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of 16 December, 2012. The victim died a few days later after battling for life at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital and later at a Singapore hospital.
The case had created an uproar across the country, especially in Delhi where a large number of people came out on the streets, demanding justice for the victim, who was dubbed as 'Nirbhaya' or the fearless.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Mar 20, 2020 08:05:26 IST