A Delhi court on Tuesday ordered death warrant for all four Nirbhaya rapists bringing an end to a long-drawn judicial process. Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora fixed January 22 as the date of hanging for all the four accused in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old paramedic student, was gangraped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being dumped on the road.
Delhi's Tihar jail authorities have already prepared four new gallows to hand the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. The judge, who issued the death warrants, said the convicts can use their legal remedies within 14 days. A death warrant is also called a black warrant and identifies the convict who has been sentenced to die. As per the jail protocol, a judicial hanging, carried out as per rule book, is expected to cause almost instant death by the dislocation of the third and the fourth cervical vertebrae. The Nirbhaya convicts will be hanged at 7 am on January 22, which will be a Wednesday.
Nirbhaya's grandfather at her native village bordering Bihar said, "Though late, the family has got justice." He thanked the judiciary, saying though the court took almost seven years to complete the entire process, no one can say that he was denied a chance to be heard. "It is a big relief for the family," he said.
"Justice delivered to Nirbhaya. A Delhi court's verdict to execute 4 convicts will empower women and strengthen people's faith on judiciary," BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted.
"We will file a curative petition in Supreme Court," Nirbhaya convicts' lawyer AP Singh said.
The judgement has come after Nirbhaya's parents had filed a plea seeking to expedite the procedure to hang all the four convicts in the case and issuance of death warrant against them.
All the four convicts were produced in the court via video conferencing from Tihar jail room number 2. The court on Monday had reserved order on issuing of death warrants against four death row convicts in the sensational 2012 Nirbhaya Gangrape and murder case.
Meanwhile, Delhi's Tihar jail, where all the four convicts are lodged, have already prepared four new gallows frame for the hanging.
The prosecutor has also urged the court to issue death warrants to convicts, however, the court was informed by the lawyers of convicts that they are in the process of filing a curative plea.
During the hearing, the prosecution said there was no application pending before any court or the President right now by any of the convicts and the review petition of all the convicts was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
While urging the court to issue the death warrants, the prosecution said, "In between issuance and execution of death warrants of the convicts want to file curative petitions they can do so."
The counsel for two of the convicts — Mukesh and Vinay — said they were in process of filing a curative petition in the apex court.
A while back, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi, who was awaiting court's judgement on their appeal said, "We are waiting for the court's order on execution of death warrants. The convicts have no appeals pending now."
On Monday, the court had dismissed a complaint filed by the father of one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, seeking an FIR against the sole witness in the matter for allegedly giving interviews to various news channels after charging money. The sole eyewitness, a friend of 23-year-old victim, was accompanying her in the bus when the gruesome incident took place and he had also sustained injuries.
Nirbhaya is the changed name of the December 2012 gang rape-cum-murder victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who was raped and brutalised in a moving bus in South Delhi by six people.
The woman had boarded the nearly vacant bus in Munirka in South Delhi along with her male friend on her way back home on December 16 that year. After raping and brutalising the woman and beating her friend, the assailants had thrown them out of the bus.
After receiving initial treatment in New Delhi for a few days, she was shifted to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where she succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012.