The mother of the 23-year-old woman who was gangraped and tortured in a bus seven years ago held a protest outside a Delhi court today over the delay in execution of the four convicts. The court, she said, was supporting the convicts after the hearing of her plea to issue death warrants was postponed today.
"They are supporting them (the convicts). They don't want to hand out punishment. What can we expect when they have not considered Supreme Court's approach? I appeal to the Supreme Court," said the woman, who maintains that the legal system has more concern for the accused than the victim.
Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Kumar have been found guilty of brutally raping and murdering a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi on December 16, 2012. They have been filing a series of petitions by turns after their first death warrant was issued on January 7 and a date of January 22 was set for their execution.
A second death warrant was issued on January 14. But the execution slated for February 1 was stalled after more petitions were filed.
Yesterday, convict Vinay Sharma challenged the President's order turning down his mercy plea -- a hearing that would now take more time. The court has also offered legal aid to Pawan Gupta, who had dismissed his lawyer earlier and is yet to file a curative petition and a mercy petition. The selection of the lawyer is expected to be a lengthy process.
On February 5, the Delhi High court gave the convicts one week to exercise all their legal remedies, after which the trial court was asked to issue the death warrant.
On Tuesday, a day before the deadline, the Tihar jail authorities had filed a status report before the trial court, saying no legal option was preferred by any convicts in last seven-day period.
The four convicts, along with two others, had gang-raped the young woman and tortured her with an iron rod in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. After fighting for life for nearly two weeks, she died of her injuries at a hospital in Singapore.
One of the assailants, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after he spent three years at a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.
The brutality of the attack had outraged the nation. Thousands had hit the street in protest which eventually led to key changes in law.