President Ram Nath Kovind has dismissed the mercy plea of convict Pawan Gupta. This was his last legal option to escape the death penalty. Soon after his curative petition was dismissed in the Supreme Court, Pawan sent a mercy petition to the President. On this basis, the trial court had postponed the hanging of the culprits for the third time.
Following the rejection of Pawan Gupta’s mercy petition, the state government has moved the Patiala House court for a new date to hang the four convicts. Additional Sessions Judge D Rana issued a notice to the four convicts on the plea of the state government. The court has asked for a hearing on this at 2 PM tomorrow, seeking answers from them.
Convict Pawan had filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court, requesting that the hanging be commuted to life imprisonment. Dismissing this, a 5-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said that there was no question of reconsidering the sentence.
Earlier, the president rejected the mercy petitions of three other convicts Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh.
Nirbhaya’s mother had expressed her disappointment with the system after the stay on the execution for the third time. She had said, “Repeated stays on the execution shows the failure of the system. Our entire system is helpful to criminals.”
Pawan Gupta’s lawyer warned
Pawan had filed a mercy petition after the curative petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court. The counsel for the convicts had then appealed to the trial court to stay the hanging on the basis of pending mercy petition.
The court rebuked Pawan’s lawyer AP Singh for the delay in curative and mercy pleas. The judge said if he took any wrong step on behalf of someone, the consequences will be for him to bear. The court told Singh he was playing with fire. “Be warned!” the judge said.
The incident and the trial
In the night of December 16, 2012, six people had raped the paramedical student in Delhi a moving bus. Nirbhaya died during treatment in Singapore on 26 December due to severe internal wounds because of the insertion of an iron rod inside her by her rapists.
In September 2013, nine months after the incident, the trial court sentenced five convicts — Ram Singh, Pawan, Akshay, Vinay and Mukesh — to death. The High Court in March 2014 and the Supreme Court in May 2017 upheld the death sentence.
During the trial, the main culprit Ram Singh committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar Jail. Another convict has been released from the correctional home in three years after he was questionably declared a minor.