Dec 16 gangrape case: Delhi court stays execution of four convicts until further orders

Dec 16 gangrape case: Delhi court stays execution of four convicts until further orders

The four convicts, Mukesh Singh (32), Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were scheduled to be hanged at 6 am at Delhi’s Tihar Jail on Saturday, February 1.

A Delhi court on Friday stayed the execution of four convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case until further orders.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana passed the order on the plea by the convicts seeking adjournment of the executions "sine die" (with no appointed date for resumption).

The four convicts, Mukesh Singh (32), Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were scheduled to be hanged at 6 am at Delhi’s Tihar Jail on Saturday, February 1.

Reacting on the development, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said there was a dire need to amend laws so that hanging takes place within six months in rape cases. "It saddens me that convicts in the Dec 16, 2012 case are escaping death sentence by using legal loopholes," he said.

This is the second time that the hanging of the death warrants has been deferred. The first order for their execution, issued on January 7 for January 22, was stayed on January 17. The second warrant, issued on January 17, for February 1 was stayed on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea filed by one of the four convicts in the December 16 gangrape case seeking a review of its order dismissing his juvenility claim. The review, which was filed earlier in the day by Pawan Gupta, was taken up for consideration by a bench comprising of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna.

"The lawyer of the convicts, AP Singh has challenged me saying that the convicts will never be executed. I will continue my fight. The government will have to execute the convicts," Asha Devi, the mother of the victim, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

On Wednesday, the apex court had dismissed a petition by one of the convicts, challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind. A bench of Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A S Bopanna turned down convict Mukesh Singh’s contentions and said, “In the result, we do not find any ground for exercise of judicial review of the order of the President of India…”. In his petition, Singh had claimed all relevant materials required to enable the President to take a decision was not placed before him.

The case dates back to December 16, 2012, when a 23-year-old woman was gangraped and assaulted inside a moving bus in South Delhi by six persons, before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at a hospital in Singapore.