17/02/2020 6:17 PM IST

2012 Delhi Gang-Rape Case: Court Issues Fresh Death Warrants For March 3

This is the third time that death warrants have been issued against the convicts.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A police van carrying the men convicted in the 2012 gang-rape case arrives at the Saket Court Complex on September 13, 2013 in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI — A Delhi court Monday issued fresh death warrants for March 3 at 6 am against the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case.

Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana issued fresh warrants against death row convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31).

This is the third time that death warrants have been issued against them.

The first date of execution, January 22, was postponed to February 1 by a January 17 court order. Then the trial court, on January 31, stayed, “till further orders” the execution of the four convicts as they had not exhausted all their legal remedies.

During the proceedings on Monday, Mukesh told the court that he does not want to be represented by advocate Vrinda Grover, after which it appointed advocate Ravi Qazi to represent him.

The court was also informed that Vinay is on hunger strike in Tihar jail.

Vinay was assaulted in jail and has head injuries, his lawyer told the court, adding that he was suffering from acute mental illness and hence the death sentence cannot be carried out.

The court directed the Tihar jail superintendent to take appropriate care of Vinay as per law.

Pawan’s counsel informed the court that he wanted to move curative petition before the Supreme Court and the mercy plea against the death sentence before the President.

Pawan is the only one among the four convicts who has not yet filed the curative petition — the last legal remedy available to a person, which is decided in-chamber. He has not filed the mercy plea either.

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Akshay’s counsel informed the court that he has prepared a fresh mercy petition to be moved before the President.

The court was hearing the applications by the victim’s parents and the Delhi government, seeking fresh death warrants for the convicts after the Supreme Court granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for the execution of these convicts.

Last Thursday, the court had appointed Qazi to represent Gupta after being informed by Tihar jail authorities that the death row convict refused to choose a lawyer offered by Delhi Legal Services Authorities (DLSA).

A day before that the court expressed displeasure over the delay in the process from Gupta’s side, after convict’s father informed it that he had removed his earlier lawyer and would need time to engage a new one.