Mother of Nirbhaya breaks down in court

Convict Pawan Gupta pleaded he had no lawyer, to which the court offered him help, which was when Nirbhaya's mother could not take it anymore

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The mother of Nirbhaya broke down today in the trial court in Delhi that was hearing a petition demanding a fresh death warrant for the convicts in the infamous gang-rape case. As the court dealt with the question of legal rights of the convicts, Nirbhaya’s mother pleaded in the court, “The case has been dragging for seven years. I am a human being too. What happens to my rights?”

“I plead before you to issue a death warrant,” the mother cried. She kept sobbing in the court until, after hearing the arguments of both the parties, the court was adjourned till Thursday.

Convict Pawan Gupta said he had no lawyer, to which the court offered him legal help, which was when Nirbhaya’s mother could not take it anymore.

On being told the hearing had been adjourned, the mother cried once again and exited the courtroom, saying, “Now my trust and hope is giving way. The court should understand the delaying tactic of the culprits. If the convict Pawan is now given a new lawyer, it will take time for him to see and understand the case files.”

She said, “I am wandering around to get justice for my daughter. The guilty are adopting tricks to delay the punishment. I do not know why the court does not understand this.”

The court said that any convict deserved legal help till his last breath. It directed the superintendent of Tihar Jail to hand over the list of lawyers to convict Pawan. The convict was allowed to pick the lawyer of his choice. Delhi Legal Assistance Authority (DLSA) handed Pawan’s father a list of lawyers and asked him to choose one.

Nirbhaya’s parents and the Delhi government had filed an application to issue a new death warrant. The convicts Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur were to be hanged at 6 AM on 1 February, but on 31 January, the court deferred the hanging indefinitely, saying that not all convicts had exhausted their legal recourses.

Meanwhile, convict Vinay Sharma challenged on 11 February the president’s decision of 1 February to dismiss his plea for clemency in the Supreme Court. Stating that he was a mental patient, he demanded that the hanging be converted to life imprisonment.

In the application filed through advocate AP Singh, Vinay pleaded that a mentally ill patient could not be hanged by law. The convict petitioned that due to continuous torture in Tihar Jail, he had developed a mental illness called “women’s psychological trauma”. He showed his treatment documents.

Mother gets moral support from union, state govts

Earlier, the union and Delhi government appealed to the Supreme Court on Tuesday to demand separate execution of the Nirbhaya case convicts. The court issued notices to the four convicts and sought answers.

A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, will hear the matter on 14 February. The Supreme Court has clarified that this hearing would not affect the trial court’s ability to issue of a new death warrant.

The Delhi High Court had said on 5 February that the four convicts of the Nirbhaya case could not be hanged separately. However, the court had made it clear that the convicts must complete all his legal options in seven days.

The Patiala House Court had stayed the execution of the four convicts of Nirbhaya, Mukesh, Akshay, Pawan and Vinay till further orders. The Centre and the Tihar Jail Administration had filed petitions in the high court against this ruling.

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