The mother of 2012 Delhi gangrape victim has appealed to the Supreme Court to issue death warrant for the four convicts in the case. Asha Devi had earlier approached the Patiala House court with a petition for fresh death warrant, which posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.
“I appeal to the Supreme Court to issue the death warrant as the Patiala House Court is in no mood to issue a fresh death warrant. The judge does not want to fix a date for hanging the convicts and is supporting them,” said Asha Devi.
She also appealed to the Arvind Kejriwal government to ensure that loopholes in the law are removed for speedy justice. “The public have once again elected AAP for five years. So remove loopholes in the law due to which the convicts continue to take the law for granted for a longer period of time. The Delhi jail should bring changes in the manual so that no convict escapes the death penalty,” Asha Devi said.
She also protested outside the Patiala House court demanding that the four convicts should be hanged.
Asha Devi had moved a fresh petition before the Delhi court after a week’s time given by the high court ended on Wednesday. But the father of one of the convicts, Pawan Gupta, sought more time saying they are not able to find a lawyer to represent his son.
The court then offered legal aid to Gupta, saying a condemned convict is entitled to legal aide till his last breath. Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana then posted the matter for further hearing on Thursday.
This upset Asha Devi who broke down and left the court premises.
The judge, however, expressed displeasure over delay from Gupta’s side. The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) then provided his father with a list of its empanelled advocates to chose from.
The Supreme Court will hold a hearing on Thursday on Centre’s plea against Delhi High Court orded that the four convicts can be hanged together only when they have exhausted all the legal remedies. Asha Devi said she hopes the apex court issues guidelines in the matter. “The hearing in the Supreme Court on February 13 may be important. We hope the Supreme Court gives a guideline tomorrow because Nirbhaya’s case is constantly going to the Supreme Court,” she said.
“Now our last hope is on the guideline of the Supreme Court. Only the Supreme Court can give a decision in this regard. It has to be seen how much we have to struggle in this case. How long the guilty continue to take advantage of loopholes in laws,” she added.
The date of execution, first fixed for January 22 in Tihar jail, was postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order. The trial court later, on January 31 stayed, “till further orders” the execution of the four convicts in the case, who are lodged in Tihar Jail.
The Tihar jail authorities had filed a status report on Tuesday before the trial court stating that no legal option was preferred by any convicts – Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) – in last seven-day period, granted by the Delhi High Court.
Asha Devi’s 23-year-old daughter, paramedical student, was gang-raped and brutalised in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. She died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.
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.