NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has paved the way for the execution of four Nirbhaya case convicts on January 22 by dismissing the curative petitions filed by two of the convicts Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh.
A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, which held an in-chamber hearing, found no merit in the petitions-the last legal remedy available to the convicts. A mercy petition before the president is now the only option left for the convicts.
AP Singh, the advocate of Vinay Sharma, said that they will file a mercy petition with the President. “We will file it with all hope and faith," he was quoted by NDTV as saying.
The curative petition was filed after a Delhi court issued death warrants to the four convicts -- Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh. They had raped and tortured a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi seven years ago.
The main accused in the case, Ram Singh, was found hanging in his cell in March 2013. The sixth, who was just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after three years at a reform home.
The woman and her friend were attacked on the evening of December 16, 2012 when on their way home after watching a movie, they were lured into a private bus. Only six men were present in the bus-- two of them were the driver and the conductor.
The men had gangraped the woman for hours and when she protested, tortured her with an iron rod. Her friend was beaten up. After fighting for her life for 13 days, she died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.
The Tihar jail, where the convicts are lodged, has started the preparations for hanging at 7 am on January 22. The jail authorities conducted a dummy hanging on Monday. They have taken the measurements of the neck of the four convicts.
A Times of India report said that they had broken down and started pleading with the jail officials when the measurements were taken. The four men had to be calmed down with the help of a counsellor so that they don’t take any drastic step.
The report said that the dummy test with sandbags was conducted with 1.5 times the weight of the convicts to check whether the ropes could sustain the weight of the prisoners. On Sunday, the men were informed about the dummy trial by the jail wardens, as per the procedure.
Their family members would be allowed to meet the convicts for the last time, one by one. Jail sources said that the meeting time could be extended from the usual half an hour to a few hours.
Meanwhile, a team from the Delhi prison and police would be dispatched to Meerut in order to escort hangman Pawan Jallad to Delhi. He was provided round-the-clock police protection by the UP Police ever since his name was proposed for the Nirbhaya hangings (with inputs from News18)
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