Seven years after a young medical student was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus in Delhi, four men convicted of the savage crime will hang tomorrow morning at 5.30 am. A Delhi Court today declared that they had run out of all legal options of stopping their execution.
Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, had filed multiple petitions over the past few months, managing to stall their execution thrice at the eleventh hour.
One of them, Mukesh, was also told by the Supreme Court today that his petition claiming he was not in Delhi when the crime was committed did not wash.
"Send them to the India-Pakistan border, send them to Doklam, but don't hang them," pleaded the lawyer of Akshay Thakur. But the petition was dismissed.
There was also a commotion when a convict's wife, who has sought a divorce, fainted outside the Patiala House court complex.
The Delhi judge, in his order, took note of the considerable time consumed by the judiciary in the case and addressed the doubts that have been lingering in the minds of some people on the efficacy of the rule of law.
The court said the resilience of law signified the inherent safeguards against human errors and not the weakness of law.
"When would the convicts meet the creator for their eternal penitence? The issue has been pestering the conscience of the community for past some time. The time consumed by the process of law has even led some diffident voices to timorously question the very efficacy of ''rule of law''.
"Let me inform all the suspecting souls that in this great land of Gautam Buddha and Gandhi, rule of law and not impetuous mob mentality, decides the fate of even the most wretched criminals and most abominable crimes. The resilience of law signifies the inherent safeguards against human errors and not the weakness of law," the judge said.
After the order the mother of the woman, who came to be known as "Nirbhaya", said her daughter's soul would now rest in peace.
"Finally the convicts will be hanged. Now I will get peace," Asha Devi told PTI.