Welcoming the death warrant issued to the rapists in the Nirbhaya rape case, Former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, who handled the case in 2012, on Tuesday, said that the day could have come sooner. He assured that there were no lapses in the investigation and has passed through several committees. Recalling his experience while investigating the case, he said that he did his job inspite of calls for his resignation.
"Well, the time taken for this day to come could have been shorter. This is a system we have given to ourselves and we have to live with it until we change it. All this has been gone through various judicial committees. Nothing was lacking on part of law enforcement. It has been learning in the area of investigation and how forensic evidence needs to be collected," he said.
Recalling the public ire he faced in 2012 while investigating the case, he added, "We had to face an odd deal for it. I was the Delhi Commissioner then and had to face it personally. Entire focus, media anger, public outrage was on me. They wanted me to resign. But we did our work and we are happy with today's verdict."
After a seven-year-long wait, the Patiala House Court issued the death warrant for execution of the 4 convicts and set the execution date as 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.
After the Supreme Court rejected review of its death penalty verdict, the Patiala House Court adjourned the hearing to January 7. The Court had given one week to the convicts' to file mercy plea and time till January 7 to exercise all their remaining legal remedies. On the same day, The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna dismissed the review petition of Akshay Singh, one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case.
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.