On Tuesday, the Supreme Court bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Arun Mishra, RF Nariman, Ashok Bhushan, and R Banumathi dismissed the curative pleas of Vinay and Mukesh- two convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. In an in-chamber hearing, the bench contended that there was no merit in the pleas. Now, mercy petition is the last remaining option for the rapists. On January 7, the Patiala House Court issued the death warrant for the execution of all the 4 convicts. They will be hanged till death on January 22 at 7 am.
Initially, the advocate for one of the accused- Mukesh stated that he could not file his vakalatnama in time because of his ill-health. Thereafter, Vrinda Grover, the amicus curiae in the case informed the court that the process for filing curative petitions for the convicts was underway. Later, the Public Prosecutor argued that no plea of any convict was pending with either the President or any court in the country.
Moreover, he contended that the issuance of death warrants did not imply that the convicts would be immediately hanged. He assured that 14 days’ time would be provided to the convicts to file review petitions. Thereafter, both the Public Prosecutor and the Amicus Curiae observed that the curative petition was not an option for the convicts. The judge also expressed his dismay at the delaying tactics of the counsel of Nirbhaya’s rapists. He noted that the legal remedies should be exercised within a time limit.
A 23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six convicts, one committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017.