Nirbhaya Convicts To Be Hanged On Friday Morning

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the petition filed by Akshay Singh Thakur, one of the death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, challenging the rejection of mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi and also comprising Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Ashok Bhushan said that the torture of convict in prison cannot be ground for review of a decision by the President.

“When we consider the grounds raised by the petitioner, we do not find any ground that there was non-application of mind by the President of India,” the court observed.

For the first time in the country, four men convicted in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case will be hanged together to death at Tihar Jail on Friday morning.

According to Tihar Jail officials, the hanging will be executed as per the directives prescribed under the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018.

Since the death sentence was awarded to the convicts — Pawan Gupta, Akshay Singh Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh — years ago, the issuance of black warrant or death warrant by the court merely confirmed the date and time of their hanging.

A Delhi court directed that the execution should take place at 5:30 am.

The case pertains to the brutal gang-rape and killing of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in the national capital.

Justice Bhushan, during the hearing, said that the scope of judicial review is very limited since the decision of the President is being challenged. “On what ground you are challenging the decision,” the court asked advocate AP Singh, who was appearing for the convict.

When Singh claimed that the mercy petition was rejected due to media pressure, the apex court said, “Your mercy plea was rejected by the highest constitutional authority. You cannot say that the President was influenced by the media report. Mercy petition is decided by the President of India at the constitutional post.”

“It is a matter of human rights,” said Singh, to which Justice Bhushan responded by saying “every time you say human rights, you are arguing about a person who has been convicted and sentenced to death.”

Singh said that several cases were investigated by CBI but this case was not sent to the probe agency and asked why there was not a men’s commission in the country.

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