The counsel for Nirbhaya's family, advocate Seema Kushwaha rejoiced the Patiala House Court's issuance of the death warrant for the execution of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. "They should be hanged. Today we are happy and welcome the court's order," Kushwaha, who relentlessly pursued to seek justice to Nirbhaya and her family, told Republic TV.
"I had argued that all their (the four convicts') remedies have lapsed. None of their petition is pending and so the court was duty-bound under CrPC 413 and 414 to give the adjudication order for their death sentence. I had also said that thousands of women are out there waiting for justice on such a heinous crime."
When asked what options are available for the convicts, Kushwaha said there are no options left because the procedure followed through right up to their chance of mercy petition. "Their SLP in the Supreme Court was dismissed. The review was also dismissed and since that happened in an open court hearing and not through circular, their option for filing curative plea also lapses. No mercy petition is pending," Seema Kushwaha said.
"I would have been happier if Nirbhaya would have been amongst us today."
Seema Kushwaha also said that she was involved in this case not just professionally as a lawyer but also in her personal capacity as a woman. "Nirbhaya's parents consider me their daughter. Every woman, including me, shares Nirbhaya's pain," she said. Kushwaha also asserted that the convicts cannot file mercy plea "as per law".
On Tuesday, the Patiala House Court ordered that the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case will be hanged till death on January 22 at 7 am. Until then, the convicts can exercise the remaining legal remedies. All the convicts were produced before the court via video-conferencing. Earlier, the court reserved its order after hearing the arguments from the counsels of all the parties in the case. In December, the matter was adjourned, giving time to the rapists of Nirbhaya to exercise their remaining legal remedies.
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.