For the third time, a death warrant has been issued against the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case. Delhi’s Patiala House Court has fixed the time for hanging the culprits at 6 AM on Tuesday, 3 March. The judge of the same court had uttered out of frustration the last time on hearing an appeal for the convicts’ death warrant it would be a sin to hang them when the law allows the culprits to stay alive.
However, the lawyer for the convicts AP Singh claims that he still has many legal options left. After the verdict, he said that it was under the pressure of media and politicians that the court fixed a new date of execution.
The victim’s mother said she hoped that now 3 March would be the final date for justice delivery when the culprits would be hanged. She said the law was late but not blind. However, looking at past experiences, she is still just hoping. She said, “I have struggled so much. Now I hope my daughter gets justice.”
The counsel for the convicts says they will apply for a new mercy petition for Akshay Thakur. Pawan Gupta has the option of curative petition and mercy petition with the president.
The Supreme Court on Friday had made it clear that the fact that the government’s plea seeking separate executions of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case was pending would not come in the way of the lower court issuing a new date warrant.
Earlier during the hearing on Monday, Mukesh Singh’s lawyer Vrinda Grover was found to be on leave. So, the court allowed Ravi Kazi to plead for him.
The Supreme Court had stated since no pleas of the convicts were pending before the apex court and mercy petitions of three of them had been rejected by the president while the fourth convict had not yet opted to file his mercy petition, the lower court could issue a new date warrant.
The bench of Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna listed the Centre’s petition against the Delhi High Court order in the Nirbhaya case for hearing on 17 February. Today the court’s ruling in the matter is expected. The high court had refused to remove the stay on the hanging of the four convicts.