2012 Delhi gangrape: Death row convicts Akshay Singh, Pawan Gupta seek stay on execution, cite pending mercy and curative petitions

  • Convicts Akshay Singh and Pawan Kumar Gupta moved a Delhi court seeking a stay on the execution of death warrants against all four, scheduled for 3 March, in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder cas

  • Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana issued notice to Tihar Jail authorities on the plea of Singh, directing them to file their response by 2 March

  • The four convicts — Singh, Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar — are scheduled to be hanged at 6 am on 3 March

New Delhi: Convicts Akshay Singh and Pawan Kumar Gupta on Saturday moved a Delhi court seeking a stay on the execution of death warrants against all four, scheduled for 3 March, in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case.

Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana issued notice to Tihar Jail authorities on the plea of Singh, directing them to file their response by 2 March.

In his plea moved through his lawyer, Singh claimed that he has filed a fresh mercy petition before the President of India, which is pending. Advocate AP Singh, appearing for Singh, said that his earlier mercy petition that was dismissed by the president did not have complete facts.

Gupta, in his plea, contended that his curative petition has been pending in the Supreme Court. He said that he also has an option to file a mercy petition. Both the convicts told the court that a number of other petitions are also pending before the Supreme Court and other authorities.

The court had on 17 February ordered that the four convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) — be hanged on 3 March after it issued fresh death warrants, observing that deferring the execution any further would be "sacrilegious" to the rights of the victim for expeditious justice.

It directed that the four men be hanged by neck on March 3 at 6 am until they are dead. This was for the third time that the death warrants were issued by the court against them. The court had noted that death warrants were earlier issued on 7 January and the execution was later deferred twice, i.e., on 17 January and 31 January. "Now deferring it any further would be sacrilegious to the rights of the victim for expeditious justice," it had said.

Pawan was the only one among the four convicts who had not yet filed the curative petition — the last legal remedy available to a person, which is decided in-chamber by judges. He has not filed the mercy plea either.

The first date of execution, 22 January, was postponed to 1 February by a 17 January court order. Then the trial court, on 31 January , stayed, "till further orders" the execution of the four convicts as they had not exhausted all their legal remedies.

The court is hearing the applications by the gangrape victim's parents and the Delhi government, seeking fresh death warrants for the convicts after the Supreme Court granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for the execution of these convicts.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on the night of 16 December, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.

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Updated Date: Feb 29, 2020 18:41:50 IST