New Delhi: As all legal routes to escape the noose closed on Thursday with the Supreme Court, Delhi High Court and the Patiala House Court dismissing all the pleas, the four convicts of the 2012 gang-rape and murder case will finally face the gallows on Friday at 5:30 AM in Tihar Jail. Also Read - ‘My Daughter's Soul Will Rest in Peace,’ Says Nirbhaya’s Mother After Courts Dismiss Convicts’ Pleas
In a late-night attempt to delay the execution, three convicts had moved the Delhi High Court with fresh pleas to which the court said that there is no foundation in plea filed by 3 death row convicts seeking stay on their execution. Also Read - Nirbhaya Gangrape Case: SC Junks All Pleas, Execution to be Held on Friday
The Delhi HC also said that the Supreme Court judgement confirming death sentence to four convicts has attained finality, hence the court can’t sit to review it further. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: SC Dismisses Pawan's Plea That He Was Minor in 2012
Regarding the divorce plea of convict Akshay Singh’s wife, the High Court said that the pendency of a divorce plea was not relevant to stay his execution along with three other convicts.
A bench comprising justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula said that the Supreme Court has already held that the pending divorce plea was no longer relevant. “We cannot say death warrant cannot be implemented because Akshay’s wife’s divorce plea is pending,” the bench said.
The development comes after three convicts, Akshay, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma moved the high court on Thursday the evening challenging the trial court order declining to stay their execution.
Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were held guilty for gangraping and killing a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in Delhi on December 16, 2012.
On Thursday, however, all the legal remedies seemed to have closed for the convicts. The Supreme Court earlier in the day refused to entertain Mukesh Singh’s last plea that he was not in the city when the crime took place.
The apex court also dismissed Akshay Kumar’s plea challenging the rejection of his second mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind, saying no ground was made out for a judicial review of the decision.
On the other hand, the Patiala House court also dismissed the pleas of Akshay Kumar, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma seeking stays on their execution.
With just few hours to go for their execution, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said her daughter’s soul will now rest in peace. “Finally the convicts will be hanged. Now I will get peace,” Asha Devi said.
During the hearing at a Delhi court, Akshay Kumar’s wife Puneeta Devi, earlier in the day, fainted outside the court and said she also wants justice. “I want justice too. Kill me too. I do not want to live. My husband is innocent,” Puneeta said beating herself with sandals.
While the widowed mother of brothers Ram Singh and Mukesh Singh has left the locality and gone back to her family in Rajasthan, the families of Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta still live in the slum colony. On the other hand, the family of Pawan Gupta sells fruits to make a living and refused to talk.
Ahead of the execution, Tihar Jail did all its preparations. Seven years after the execution of Afzal Guru, the Tihar Jail got ready for the hanging of the four men after several dummy runs.
Notably, this is the first time that four men will be hanged together in Tihar Jail, South Asia’s largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates.