New Delhi: In a dramatic turn during the court proceedings in the Nirbhaya case, two mothers battled for their children, while one demanded life imprisonment, the other wanted the death sentence.
When the proceedings were halted briefly as the judge seeking a clarification, Convict Mukesh Singh's mother walked up to Nirbhaya's mother, held her saree in a gesture of begging, and pleaded: "Mai apne bete ki zindagi ki bheek mangti hu. Meri jholi mein mere bete ki jaan de do (I beg you.. please spare the life of my son...give him to me..)"
Watching the same, Nirbhaya's mother too wept, but in a strong tone, responded: "Meri bhi beti thi, main kaise bhoolun uske saath kya hua. Main iss din ka intezaar saat saal se kar rahi hoon ( she was my daughter.. how can I forget what they did to her. For seven years I have waited for this."
The judge seeing all this, called for silence in the courtroom and continued with the hearing of the case.
This happened while the court was hearing the application filed by Nirbhaya's parents seeking to expedite the execution of the convicts in the case, the prosecution argued that no application from the convicts was pending before any court or the President.
"The review petition of all the convicts are dismissed. In between the issuance and execution of the death warrants if the convicts want to file curative petitions they can do so," the public prosecutor said after the hearing.
"They can avail their pending legal remedies after issuance of death warrant also," said advocate Jitendra Jha who was representing the parents of the victim.
The amicus curiae and the counsel of the convicts, however, pressed that certain legal remedies were still available with the convicts.
However, after concluding the arguments, the judge issued the death warrants and ordered for their execution, but, granted them 14 days time to exercise their remedies.
A 23-year-old woman was gang-raped and tortured on December 16, 2012, which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in the Tihar Jail.