New Delhi, Jan 23: The four convicts of Nirbhaya gangrape, who are to be hanged on February 1, have not expressed any desire or replied to questions about their last wish.
As per rules, death-row convicts should be entitled to meet family members, lawyers and mental health professionals so that their rights are adequately protected at all stages. Convicts are also asked to state whether they want to leave their property to anyone.
Reports say, the convicts - Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta - were silent, hinting that they remain hopeful of buying more time.
Observing that heinous crime convicts are taking the "judicial process for a ride", the Centre on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court for fixing a 7-day deadline for the execution of condemned prisoners after issuance of a black warrant, amid the delay in the hanging of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case.
The hanging has been delayed due to filing of review, curative and mercy petitions over a period of several months, prolonging the agony of Nirbhaya's parents and other family members.
Stressing that the "need of the hour" was to lay down guidelines in "the interest of the victims" rather than keeping the rights of the convicts in mind, the Centre said those punished for "horrible, dreadful, cruel, abominable, ghastly, gruesome and heinous offences" like rape and murder should be not permitted to play with the "majesty of law" and prolong the execution of the sentence awarded to them.
The Centre submitted this was necessary for the larger interest of the public and of the victims and their families.