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'What About Our Rights': Nirbhaya’s Mother Breaks Down After Delhi Court Postpones Death Warrant of Convicts

The development assumes significance as the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea to review death penalty of Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four convicts, saying there was no merit in the case.

News18.com

Updated:December 18, 2019, 6:08 PM IST
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'What About Our Rights': Nirbhaya’s Mother Breaks Down After Delhi Court Postpones Death Warrant of Convicts
A file image of Nirbhaya's mother during a protest in Delhi.

A Delhi court on Wednesday directed Tihar jail authorities to seek response from four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape-and-murder case whether they are filing mercy pleas against their executions with the President of India.

The development assumes significance as the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea to review death penalty of Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four convicts, saying there was no merit in the case.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi said there are no ground to review the 2017 verdict and the contentions raised by convict Akshay Kumar Singh were already considered by the top court in the main judgement.

The bench also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna, said that review petition is not "re-hearing of appeal over and over again" and the top court had already considered the mitigating and aggravating circumstances while upholding the death penalty to the convict in the 2017 verdict.

The apex court said that it found "no error" on the face of the main judgement requiring any review.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora, who is hearing the plea of Delhi government seeking issuance of death warrants for executing the convicts, said that it will wait for the apex court order's copy and adjourned the hearing for January 7, 2020.

Dejected by the order, Nirbhaya’s mother broke down in court. “Hum jahaan jaate hain, wahaan humein convicts ke rights ke baare mein bataya jaata hai. Par hamaare rights ka kya. (Wherever we go, we are reminded of the rights of the convicts. What about our rights?)”

Expressing sympathy with Asha Devi, the court said: "We have full sympathy with you. We know someone has died but there are their (convicts) rights too. We are here to listen to you but are also bound by the law."

The 23-year-old paramedic student was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road.

She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

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 in Delhi. 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.

The top court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.

(With PTI inputs)

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