Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi Monday expressed her anguish over the decision of a Delhi court to deffer again the hanging of the four convicts, who were scheduled to be executed at 6 am on March 3. Asha Devi said that the convicts' hanging is being postponed repeatedly, which is a failure of the country's legal system and that the world is watching it.
"Why is the court taking so much time to execute its own order to hang the convicts? Repeated postponing of the execution shows the failure of our system. Our entire system supports criminals. The world is watching what the court, which is known for a fair trial, is doing with the case," said Asha Devi in her first reaction after the court's order.
Court stays hanging of 4 convicts
Earlier, the court had stayed the hanging of the four convicts - Akshay Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma - in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The court also deferred the matter until further orders. This is the third time their execution has been stayed by a court after the death warrant was issued.
Their execution was deferred as mercy petition of one of the convicts, Pawan Gupta, is still pending before President Ram Nath Kovind and a death row convict can't be hanged until he has exhausted all the available legal recourses as per the Constitution of India.
The mercy petition of Pawan is the last legal recourse available to them to delay the execution. Once the plea is rejected by the President, the convict will be given at least 15-days time to meet his family members. However, after that, the court can issue fresh death warrants and they won't have any other known legal option to delay the hanging.
The Supreme Court had earlier in the day dismissed Gupta's plea seeking commutation of his death sentence into life term. A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice NV Ramana said no case is made out for re-examining the conviction and the punishment of the convict.