The father of one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-and-murder case moved a Delhi court on Thursday, challenging an order refusing direction of an FIR against the sole eyewitness in the matter. The application filed by Pawan Gupta's father Heera Lal Gupta seeks a direction to the Delhi police to lodge an FIR against the eyewitness, a friend of the 23-year-old victim, for allegedly giving interviews to various television news channels after charging money.
The sessions court put up the matter for hearing on January 27. The magisterial court had dismissed a similar application on January 6.
The eyewitness was accompanying the victim on the bus when the gruesome incident took place and he had also sustained injuries. The application cited certain recent media reports, which alleged that the witness charged money to appear on various news channels, the applicant's lawyer, AP Singh, said.
It alleged that the act of the witness affected the case by "resulting in a media trial".
"This calls for an independent investigation into the perjury that appears to have been committed by him (witness). Being the sole witness, his testimony has strongly influenced the outcome of the case, which led to the imposition of the death penalty on the accused," the complaint said.
Nirbhaya case: Execution of rapists delayed
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has been told that "hanging of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case can't take place on January 22."
"Execution of convicts will surely not take place on January 22. The fate of a death-row convict comes to a finality only after his mercy plea is rejected by the President.
"Also, it can only take place 14 days after the mercy plea's rejection. The prison rules say a 14-day notice must be provided to the convicts after the rejection of the mercy plea," said Delhi's standing counsel Rahul Mehra.
The arguments were presented before a Division Bench, comprising Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Saihgal, which was hearing a plea filed by Mukesh challenging the death warrant issued against him.
Mehra also opposed the petition terming it premature as the mercy plea was with the Home Ministry of the Delhi government and would be moved to the Lieutenant Governor later in the day.
After hearing the arguments, the Bench refused to set aside the death warrant issued against the petitioner and asked his legal team to move the trial court regarding the latest developments. "Apprise the trial court about the pending mercy plea," the Bench said.
Senior advocate Rebecca John and advocate Vrinda Grover appearing for Mukesh agreed to the observation and said they would approach the Patiala House court soon.
The court observed the trial court while passing the order on January 7 had noted that there was no curative or mercy petition pending in any forum.
Nirbhaya is the changed name of the December 2012 gang rape-and-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 almost empty bus in Munirka, along with her male friend, on her way home on December 16, 2012. After raping and brutalising the woman and beating up her friend, the assailants had thrown them out of the bus.
After receiving initial treatment in New Delhi for a few days, the victim was shifted to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012.