2012 Delhi gangrape convicts to be hanged on March 20
A Delhi court on Thursday issued fresh death warrants for execution of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case for March 20 at 5.30am.
Additional sessions judge Dharmendra Rana fixed March 20 as the new date of execution after it was told by the Delhi government that the convicts have exhausted all their legal remedies.
The lawyer for the four death row convicts also told the court that there was no legal impediment for court in proceeding to fix the date of execution.
After the fresh death warrants were issued, the victim's mother, Asha Devi, said she hopes March 20 will be the final date of handing, adding that the struggle would continue till the time they are hanged.
She also said that if there is any chance, she would want to see the convicts dying.
'While dying my daughter asked to ensure they get such punishment that such crime is not repeated ever. If there is any chance, I would like to see them die,' said Devi.
A day earlier, the Delhi government had moved the court seeking fresh date for the execution, saying that all legal remedies of the convicts have been exhausted and nothing survives now.
The lawyer for the prosecution said no notice was required.
The court, however, was of the view that principles of natural justice are part of Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution and the sacrosanct principle of Audi alteram partem (listen to the other side) cannot be ignored. It then issued a notice to the convicts seeking their response on the plea by the next day.
President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four men facing the gallows in the case, a home ministry official said on Wednesday.
The court had on Monday deferred till further order the hanging the convicts that was scheduled for Tuesday. It dismissed the pleas of two of the four convicts, which sought stay on the execution of their death warrants.
The court had, however, decided to hear the Pawan's lawyer after it was informed that he has filed a mercy plea before the President after his curative petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
On February 17 issued a fresh date, March 3 at 6 am, for the execution of death warrants for the four convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) -- in the case.
The execution of their death warrants had been deferred thrice so far due to delays by them in exhausting their legal remedies. All the convicts in the case are to be hanged together.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16, 2012. She had died after a fortnight.
Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case.
The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.