Asha Devi, mother of Nirbhaya, leaves a court in New Delhi on Tuesday. AP
Four convicts in the brutal rape and murder of a paramedic in a moving Delhi bus will be hanged at 7am on January 22, more than seven years of the date of crime.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora ordered death warrants issued after hearing a plea from the family of the victim.
Pawan Gupta, Mukesh, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh have been on death row after being held guilty of Nirbhaya's gang-rape, torture and killing on Dec.16, 2012.
The family had waited for well over seven years for the ultimate justice as the convicts kept on seeking to escape the law.
Named Nirbhaya or the fearless by the shocked nation, the woman of 23 was gangraped by six men on a moving bus and thrown out naked from the bus into a cold street in Delhi past midnight.
After spending several days at a hospital in the city, the woman was shifted to Singapore, where she succumbed to injuries on Dec.29, 2012.
Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi said after the verdict was announced, "My daughter has got justice. Execution of the 4 convicts will empower the women of the country. This decision will strengthen the trust of people in the judicial system. I have been running from pillar to post for one year.”
A Delhi court on Monday had also dismissed a complaint filed by the father of one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, seeking an FIR against the sole witness in the matter for allegedly giving interviews to various news channels after charging money.
The main accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial.
Another of the six accused, a juvenile who was just short of 18 when the barbaric crime took place, was released after three years in a reform home.
Last month, the Supreme Court dismissed the last review petition in the case, filed by one of the convicts, Akshay Singh.
Judge Arora finished hearing the arguments in the morning and said he will pronounce the order later in the day.
During the hearing, the prosecution said no application was pending from any of the convicts before any court or the President right now.
The review petition of all the convicts was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
The suggestion that the court should wait for petitions to be filed by the convicts and decided was a delaying tactic, the public prosecutor argued.
While urging the court to issue the death warrants, the prosecution said, "In between issuance and execution of death warrants of the convicts want to file curative petitions they can do so."
Judge Arora agreed that the convicts could use the remaining two legal remedies - curative petition and mercy plea - within the next two weeks.
The lawyer representing the four convicts said that they will file a curative petition in the Supreme Court.
The counsel for two of the convicts - Mukesh and Vinay - said they were in process of filing curative petition in the apex court.
In September 2013, a fast-track court held the four convicts guilty of 13 offences including gangrape, unnatural sexual assault, and murder of the woman, and attempt to murder her male friend.
On July 9, 2018, the Supreme Court dismissed the pleas of three of the convicts seeking review of its 2017 judgment, upholding the capital punishment given to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.
All the convicts are currently lodged in the Tihar Jail, where the execution will take place.
Kovind's decision came a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday night sent Mukesh's mercy petition to him recommending its rejection,
India’s execution of four men for the gang-rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012 does send a strong message, but the fact that it took seven long years to deliver justice has exposed the loopholes in the judicial system and that needs to be addressed.
The accused has been arrested and identified as Rajendra Singh who is a resident of Kalyanpuri area and is a court staff. "The complainant has alleged that Singh committed rape with her inside Court no 308 of the Rouse Avenue Court," a senior police official said.
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