Petitions by all three convicts in the Nirbhaya case -- who made a last-minute appeal for a freeze on tomorrow's execution -- have been dismissed by the Supreme Court. The judges turned down their lawyers' plea to "send them to Indo-Pak border or Doklam" and not hang them.
Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh Singh and Akshay Singh - convicted for the 2012 gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi, dubbed Nirbhaya by the media - are to be executed at 5.30 am tomorrow.
The date was fixed after repeated cancellations as the convicts tried every legal avenue to buy time.
Two days ago, three of the four convicts filed petitions asking for a freeze on the execution.
Convict Pawan Gupta had filed a curative petition, insisting that he was a minor at the time the crime was committed. This plea -- made earlier as well - was dismissed by the trial court, Delhi High Court and the top court.
In its order today, the six-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana, said, "We have gone through the Curative Petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters... Hence, the Curative Petition is dismissed".
Convict Mukesh Singh's plea for a CBI investigation into the Delhi Police allegedly withholding some documents, was also dismissed. Mukesh Singh's lawyer argued that the documents prove that the convict was not in Delhi but Rajasthan at the time of crime and asked for an investigation into the matter.
The court said it had already examined the issue and dismissed it.
The fresh clutch of petitions were seen as another attempt to delay the hanging by the convicts, who have already delayed the execution thrice.
The court also rejected Akshay Singh's plea against rejection of his second mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The four convicts, along with two others had gang-raped the young woman in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. Tortured with an iron rod and thrown off the vehicle, she died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.
One of the assailants, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after spending three years in a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.
The savage assault stunned the nation and led to multiple changes in how the law treats juveniles involved in serious crimes like rape and murder.