A Delhi court on Monday deferred the execution of all four convicts in 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case till further orders.
The order came a day before the scheduled hanging of the convicts.
The court gave the verdict in light of the mercy petition filed by one of the convicts Pawan Kumar Gupta earlier in the day.
The court earlier today had reserved the order on Gupta’s plea which sought a stay on the execution on the ground that his mercy petition is pending before the President of India for consideration.
Hours after the dismissal of the curative petition, 2012 Nirbhaya death-row convict Gupta approached President of India Ram Nath Kovind with a mercy plea. The President later dismissed the mercy plea leaving Gupta with no legal remedies left.
Earlier in the day, a five-judge bench, headed by NV Ramana dismissed the curative petition in an in-chamber hearing, one of the four death-row convicts, a day before their scheduled date of hearing.
“No case is made out for re-examining the conviction and the punishment of the convict,” said a five-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana.
Pawan had earlier approached the court with a claim of juvenility to seek commutation of the death sentence. In his curative plea before the apex court, he pleaded that he was 16 years and two months old on the day of the offence as per his school certificates. He further submitted that the State had conveniently suppressed this crucial information throughout the trial.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as ”Nirbhaya”, was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.
Six people, including the four convicts, Ram Singh and a juvenile — were named as accused.
The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013.
Ram Singh, the prime accused, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in TihaHyderabad’sr jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.
The juvenile was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. He, when released, was 20 years old.
The trial of the four adults began in a special fast-track court in March 2013 and they were sentenced to death in September 2013 by the trial court.