NEW DELHI: Joy turned into grief in less than an hour’s time for Nirbhaya’s mother when a Delhi court directed Tihar jail authorities to seek a response from four death row convicts in the December 2012 gang rape-and-murder case if they were filing mercy pleas against their execution.
Additional sessions judge Satish Kumar Arora adjourned the hearing for January 7, 2020, after hearing the arguments from prosecution and amicus curiae Vrinda Grover in the case, dashing any hopes of a speedy execution of the death penalty.
ALSO READ | Nirbhaya case: One of the four convicts moves Delhi HC claiming he was juvenile in 2012
The development came soon after the Supreme Court rejected the review petition filed by Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four convicts, and awarded the death penalty. A three-judge bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna said, “There was no ground to say it’s not a rarest of the rare case.”
Akshay had sought a review of the 2017 Supreme Court judgment upholding his death penalty in the case.
Dejected by the lower court’s order, Nirbhaya’s mother broke down. “Wherever we go, we are reminded of the rights of the convicts. What about our rights?” she asked.
On this the court said, “We have full sympathy with you. We know someone has died but there are their (convicts) rights too. We are here to listen to you but are also bound by the law.”