New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday directed the Tihar Jail authorities to seek response within a week from four death row convicts in the sensational 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-cum-murder case as to whether they are filing mercy pleas against their executions with the President of India. Nirbhaya’s mother broke down outside the court after the court adjourned for January 7 the hearing on the issuance of death warrants.
Nirbhaya’s mother said she was “upset” by the court’s decision. “The convicts have been given one more chance. Why are their rights being considered? What about our rights?” she asked. Earlier in the day, she had welcomed the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the plea filed by one of the four convicts in the case, seeking review of its 2017 judgment upholding his death penalty.
After the SC verdict, the Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora commenced the hearing on a Delhi government plea seeking issuance of the death warrants for executing the four convicts. The court adjourned the hearing for January 7, 2020.
The lawyer appearing for Nirbhaya’s mother said that there was no impediment in issuing death warrants in the case. Consoling Nirbhaya’s crying mother, the judge said, “I have full sympathy with you. I know someone has died but there are their rights too. We are here to listen to you but are also bound by the law.”
The court made the observations after Nirbhaya’s mother started crying before the court saying “everywhere we go, they (the convicts) say they have legal remedies. What do we have?”
On July 9 last year, the apex court had dismissed the review pleas filed by the other three convicts — Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24) — in the case, saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict. One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail.
A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.