A gang rape which happened in 2012 & the convicts of which are yet to serve their death sentence has been the headlines since many months now. The death sentence, which was supposed to be given at the very beginning when the horrific incident took place, still has the convicts unpunished for the same.
Till now, the Nirbhaya case saw many delays in punishing the rapists for which Nirbhaya’s fearless mother has also been fighting against as one of the convicts Mukesh had filed a mercy plea against the death punishment to the President of India which the latter even rejected.
However, Delhi court on Monday noted that any further delay in the execution of the Nirbhaya case convicts would mean sacrilegious to the victim’s rights & even for justice. Hence, a fresh date was given by the Delhi court for the hanging of the convicts as March 3, 2020, at 6 am.
The four convicts will be executed on the said date as confirmed by the Delhi court unless one of the four men, Pawan Gupta at the last moment decides to ask for mercy against the death sentence & files for curative or mercy petitions since he is the only amongst the four who has yet not used any of the legal remedies that the constitution of India provides. Although the deadline for filing a curative & mercy petition for Pawan ended on February, 11, the Supreme court & the President’s secretariat have shown leniency in the past & have also been open to hearing any plea even at the last moment.
The court also observed that convict Pawan has not opted to file either mercy or a curative petition even after a lapse of 33 months, indicating that there are only two possibilities for such kind of indolence – One where Pawan is interested in only delaying the proceedings of the court & second where he is satisfied by the court’s verdict.
Dharmendra Rana, additional session’s judge, pointed out that, “Article 21 merely guarantees an opportunity to the condemned convicts to exercise their legal rights. However, whether to utilise the opportunity or not is a matter of choice of the condemned convicts. Convict Pawan cannot be permitted to defeat the ends of justice by simply opting to remain indolent.”
The order by the Delhi court for the hanging of the four men in question came from applications from the Delhi government & Nirbhaya’s parents asking for fresh death warrants for the convicts. This happened post Supreme court granting liberty to the authorities for approaching the trial court for issuing fresh dates for the convict’s execution.