After the Patiala House Court on Thursday issued a fresh death warrant in the Nirbhaya rape-murder case, convicts' advocate AP Singh accused the court of carrying out 'judicial killing' of the convicts. Singh also mentioned that one of the convict, Akshay's mercy petition is still pending as a judicial remedy. The court ordered that the Nirbhaya rape and murder case convicts will be hanged till death on March 20, 5:30 AM.
In a bizarre response to a question posed by a reporter from Republic about whether he was indulging in delay tactics, AP Singh retorted that the family of Nirbhaya was 'receiving funds' from outside. The convicts' lawyer also claimed that Republic TV was funding the Nirbhaya case and her family.
Speaking to the media, Singh said, "For the fourth time, the death warrant has come, How many death warrants will they issue? How many times we will be hanged under the pressure of media. In 2013 they gave the first warrant, then the Delhi HC issued a warrant, the SC gave a warrant later during the review petition also a warrant was issued. They are improving in jail and trying to change themselves. Akshay's mercy petition is still pending. The court is saying, I am playing with fire. This is totally wrong. How many times, will you kill them? The court is doing judicial killing."
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana has ordered the fresh date of execution against the four convicts. The judge also directed that convicts counsel AP Singh and Ravi Qazi are allowed to meet them in the prison as per the Standard Operating Procedures of the Tihar prison.
Earlier on Wednesday, Advocate Ahmad appearing for the Delhi government argued that the court is not required to issue a notice to the convicts before issuing a fresh date of execution, however, in view of the principles of natural justice, the court has issued a notice to the convicts. The trial court had on February 17 issued a fresh date for execution of death warrants for March 3 at 6 am for the four convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) -- in the case. However, the Court had deferred the hanging of the convicts until further notice.
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 reportedly 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.