South Asian Insider
In tears again, victim's mother pleads for death warrant for 4 convicts
Demanding fresh death warrant, Asha Devi said, "I am here from one and half years, I am here and waiting for them to avail their legal remedies. However, even I am victim's mother, and even I have some rights."
(News Agencies)-The mother of 2012 Delhi gangrape victim broke down in court on Wednesday as she demanded fresh death warrant for the four convicts in the case.
"I am here from one and a half years, I am here and waiting for them to avail their legal remedies. However, even I am victim's mother, and even I have some rights. I would request you to please issue the death warrant," said Asha Devi as the court offered to give one of the convicts Pawan Gupta the legal aid.
Gupta's father pleaded before the court that no lawyer is willing to take the case of his son and sought time. The father of the 23-year-old victim objected to the offer of legal representation to Gupta, but Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said he has to follow the law. "This court is of the opinion that any of the condemned convict is entitled for legal aid till his last breath," said the judge. After asking for a layer to be finalised for Gupta, the court posted the matter for hearing on Thursday following which an angry Asha Devi left the court. Public prosecutor Irfan Ahmed and amicus curiae Vrinda Grover, meanwhile, were of the view that death warrant can be issued. "Since there is nothing pending in the court of law, the execution date can be fixed," said Grover. The application was moved after the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for the execution of these convicts. The Tihar jail authorities had also filed a status report before the trial court on Tuesday stating that no legal option was preferred by any of the four convicts - Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) - in the last seven day period, granted by the Delhi High Court. The trial court had on February 7 dismissed the petitions of Delhi government and Tihar jail authorities seeking fresh date for execution of the four death row convicts in the case. They had taken note of the high court's February 5 order permitting the convicts to exercise their legal remedies within one week. "It is criminally sinful to execute the convicts when law permits them to live. The High Court on February 5 has permitted the convicts, in the interest of justice, to exercise their legal remedies within one week from the same order," the court had said.
The date of execution, first fixed for January 22 in Tihar jail, was later postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order.
The physiotherapy intern was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.
Six people - the four convicts, Ram Singh and a juvenile - were named as accused.
The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013.
Ram Singh, the prime accused, committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.
He was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. He, when released, was 20 years old.
Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan were sentenced to death in September 2013 by the trial court.
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