A Delhi court on Monday deferred till further order the hanging of four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case pending disposal of a convict's mercy plea. All the convicts in the case were to be hanged together on Tuesday at 6 AM. Reacting to the delay, Akali Dal leader Manjinder Sirsa took to Twitter and wrote, "Nirbhaya, we are ashamed that your rapists are still alive."
He added, "Date after Date, how long will Nirbhaya's family bear the drama of this courtroom!"
Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi on Monday said no matter what the convicts do, they will be hanged for their crime. "This shows the failure of our system. The whole world is watching how justice is being delayed in India," she told reporters. It is the third time that the hanging of the four convicts has been deferred. Asha Devi said she "loses hope every day" but the convicts will be hanged no matter what they do.
"I lose hope every day but I stand tall every day. They would have to be hanged. There could not have been a worse case than Nirbhaya but still, I am struggling to get justice. The courts are sitting and watching the drama," she added.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said the death sentence cannot be executed pending disposal of mercy petition of convict Pawan Kumar Gupta. The court passed the order on Pawan's plea seeking to stay the execution as he has filed a mercy petition before the President on Monday.
The first date of execution, January 22, was postponed to February 1 by a January 17 court order. Then the trial court, on January 31, stayed, "till further orders" the execution of the four convicts as they had not exhausted all their legal remedies. The court had on February 17 directed that the four men be hanged by the neck on March 3 at 6 am until they are dead. This was for the third time that the death warrants were issued by the court against them.
"Now deferring it any further would be sacrilegious to the rights of the victim for expeditious justice," it had said.
(With agency inputs)