Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case convicts Pawan Gupta, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh and Vinay Sharma will not be hanged until further court orders. The Delhi court on Friday deferred the execution of death hours before they were to hang.
Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana passed the order on a plea by the convicts seeking a stay on their execution on Saturday, February 1. The four convict’s death sentence has already been put off once over review, curative and mercy petitions.
After the court’s decision Nirbhaya’s mother wept as she said that a convict’s lawyer had “challenged” her in court.
“We’ve been sitting in the court since morning. If the court wanted to spare these criminals again, then why take so long? Why make us sit and hope for so long? We waited all this time, with hope… why not send us home?” she said.
Taking advantage of a legal system that the government says is skewed, the convicts filed multiple petitions to stall their hanging, she added.
The convicts’ lawyer argued that rules dictate that when one convict’s plea is pending the others cannot be hanged. Advocate A P Singh, representing the convicts — Pawan, Vinay and Akshay, urged the court to adjourn the executions “sine die” (with no appointed date for resumption). Vinay’s mercy plea before the president is pending.
Mukesh’s mercy plea was dismissed by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 17. The appeal against the rejection was thrown out by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.