A Delhi court on Wednesday expressed dismay over the delay in Nirbhaya gangrape case but granted, Pawan Gupta one of the death row convicts legal aid after he said that he did not have a lawyer to represent him in court. Nirbhaya's mother was present in the courtroom and expressed displeasure over delay in executing the convicts.
"I have been saying for more than a year that convicts should get all legal aid (in order to avoid delay). It is now that he is claiming that he does not have a lawyer," said Nirbhaya's mother who seemed to suggest that this was another delaying tactic being used by the convicts.
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana expressed displeasure over delay from Pawan's side who said he has removed his earlier lawyer and will need time to engage a new one.
Advocate AP Singh used to represent convicts Pawan Gupta, Vinay and Akshay. However, Singh no longer represents Pawan Gupta.
Pawan Gupta's father, who was present in the courtroom, claimed that he came to know about the development above only last night. He told the court that he will need 2-3 days to find a new lawyer. When judge offered to provide a lawyer, Gupta's father refused and said that he wants to hire a private lawyer.
It is then that the judge said that given the gravity of the case, Gupta should have managed to hire a lawyer.
Nirbhaya's parents and the Delhi government had moved the court on Tuesday 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.
The date of execution, first fixed for January 22 in Tihar jail, was later postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order. The trial court had on January 31 stayed "till further orders" 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.
After the hearing on Wednesday, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi protested outside trial court premises here over the delay in hanging of the four convicts in the gang rape and murder case of her daughter.
(With PTI inputs)