The Asian Age

Nirbhaya killers to be hanged today


After exhausting all legal remedies, all the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case will be hanged by neck till death at 5.30 am on Friday in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. This is the first time that four men will be hanged together in South Asia’s largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates. The last hanging in Tihar was on February 9, 2013 when Afzal Guru, a resident of Sopore in north Kashmir, was executed at 8 am and buried on the prison premises for his role in the terror attack on Parliament.

The decks for the execution of the four convicts – Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) – were cleared on Thursday after additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana refused to grant them any relief and rejected the petition saying no valid ground has been brought to his notice to justify the stay of execution of their death warrants. The execution of the four had been deferred thrice as the convicts had been moving from one court to another to exhaust legal remedies available to them.

The judge said: “I am of the considered opinion that the applicatio­n is bereft of merits. No valid ground has been brought to my notice to justify the stay of execution of death warrants. The applicatio­n is accordingl­y dismissed.”

In his order, the judge also took note of the considerab­le time consumed by the judiciary in the case and addressed the doubts that have been lingering in the minds of some people on the efficacy of the rule of law. He said the resilience of law signified the inherent safeguards against human errors and not the weakness of law.

“When would the convicts meet the creator for their eternal penitence? The issue has been pestering the conscience of the community for past some time. The time consumed

by the process of law has even led some diffident voices to timorously question the very efficacy of ‘rule of law’….Let me inform all the suspecting souls that in this great land of Gautam Buddha and Gandhi, rule of law and not impetuous mob mentality, decides the fate of even the most wretched criminals and most abominable crimes. The resilience of law signifies the inherent safeguards against human errors and not the weakness of law,” the judge said.

The judge also pulled up one of the convicts for failing to exercise his legal remedy and challenge before the rejection of his mercy plea by the President. He said: “The condemned convict Pawan cannot be permitted to frustrate the course of law by simply opting to remain indolent. It is not a case wherein the convict is either unaware of his rights or is not able to exercise them for want of legal aid….One who seeks protection of law first needs to learn to respect it.”

Just six hours before their execution, the Delhi high court dismissed the convicts’ plea challengin­g the trial court order declining to stay their hanging.

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