After three hanging dates, four Nirbhaya case convicts to face gallows tomorrow

New Delhi [India], Mar 19 (ANI): After three dates for the execution of death warrant, four Nirbhaya case convicts will be hanged tomorrow, bringing to an end the over seven-year-long court battle fought by the victim's parents for justice in the brutal rape case that shook the conscience of the nation.

The four convicts -- Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh - against whom death warrant was issued by a Delhi court earlier this month had moved courts over the past seven years to escape the gallows.

They are to be hanged at 5:30 am on Friday.

Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller, had moved the Supreme Court claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence in 2012 and should be treated under the Juvenile Justice Act. The court, however, rejected his plea.

Akshay Thakur, a school dropout, hailed from Bihar and came to Delhi in 2011. He was the conductor of the bus in which the crime was committed and had fled the city.

Thakur was arrested a few days later from his native village in Aurangabad district. He had claimed that he was not in Delhi when the brutal incident took place but the probe revealed he was on the bus and involved in the crime.

Vinay Sharma was a fitness trainer and a resident of Ravidass camp, a slum in south Delhi. In 2016, Sharma had attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself in the Tihar Jail. He first took painkillers and then tried to hang himself with a towel in the cell.

Last December, Sharma had made a plea to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking immediate withdrawal of mercy petition. Through his counsel AP Singh, the convict claimed that the mercy plea sent to President Kovind by the Home Ministry was not signed by him.

Mukesh Singh is the younger brother of Ram Singh, driver of the bus who had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013. Mukesh Singh was a part-time bus driver and a cleaner. The two brothers also lived in Ravidass camp.

In 2013, a fast-track court in Delhi had held the four men guilty in the case. Their conviction was also upheld by the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court later.

In May 2017, the four convicts had moved the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order which confirmed the capital punishment awarded to them by the trial court. The top court also upheld their death penalty.

A Delhi court on Thursday refused to stay the execution of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow morning.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by Akshay Thakur challenging the rejection of mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind.

The apex court had also rejected a plea filed by Mukesh Singh challenging a Delhi High Court's order rejecting his claim that he was not in the national capital when the crime was committed.

The four convicts, along with two others including Ram Singh and a juvenile, had raped and brutally tortured a 23-year-old paramedic student on a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012.

The victim, who was accompanied by her friend, was thrown out of the bus. Thirteen days later, the victim succumbed to her injuries on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

The juvenile was sent to a reform facility and released after three years.

On January 7, a Delhi court issued a death warrant against all four convicts for their hanging on January 22. But the hanging could not take place. Their hanging was also fixed for February 1 and March 3. (ANI)