Amidst the series of petitions filed by the convicts of the heinous gang rape and murder case of Jyoti Singh Pandey in 2012, one more convict has now filed mercy petition. After the dismissal of the curative petition in Supreme Court on January 31, Akshay Singh filed his mercy petition today i.e Feb 1st.
Petitions filed, pending and dismissed
As of now, Akshay is the third out of the four convicts in the case to file mercy petition. Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma have also filed their mercy pleas of whom, President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh, while Vinay's plea continues to be pending. All three have exhausted their other legal remedies. However, Pawan Gupta has yet to file a curative petition and mercy petition. There were also other pleas filed by the convicts including a petition challenging the mercy plea but the SC dismissed those pleas as well.
Execution date postponed indefinitely
Nirbhaya's family was happy to hear on January 7 that the four convicts will be hanged on 22nd January. But with their legal remedies still pending, the execution date had to be postponed to February 1. However, with the convicts taking their time to file their petitions slowly, elongating their time before the execution, now the execution date has been postponed indefinitely.
Asha Devi, the mother of Nirbhaya - the woman gang-raped and murdered in the incident - shared her dismay and angst on the incessant delays in an earlier interview with SheThePeople said, “This has been happening for the last seven years. First, it was the hearing dates and now the petitions. The way our justice system supports the convicts somewhere it is a plot against the victims of gender-based crimes. Courts give all the provisions to the perpetrators and not even in a single law acknowledges the state of those fighting for justice.
The offenders derive strength from these delays and loopholes of our legal system and commit crimes because impunity level is so high. Criminals think that when the rapists of Nirbhaya are still alive then even we can do such horrific crimes and get away alive. I see everyone from our state, judiciary to certain sections of our society standing with the convicts now. They want them to be alive on the pretext of their socio-economic condition.”
However, Pawan Gupta has yet to file a curative petition and mercy petition. There were also other pleas filed by the convicts including a petition challenging the mercy plea but the SC dismissed those pleas as well.
Timeline of Nirbhaya Gangrape case in 2020:
- January 7: Delhi Court announced issued the death warrants for the four convicts in the case.
- January 9: Convict Vinay Sharma filed a curative petition claiming he was only 19 when the crime took place.
- January 14: Supreme Court bench rejected the curative petitions filed by Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh.
- January 15: Mukesh Singh files a mercy plea with President Ram Nath Kovind and the Delhi govt.
- January 17: President Ram Nath Kovind rejected Mukesh's mercy plea.
- January 18: Delhi court issues fresh death warrants for the convicts to be hanged on February 1.
- January 29: Akshay Singh filed his curative petition and Vinay filed mercy plea.
- January 30: Akshay's curative plea rejected by the apex court
- January 31: Delhi court postponed hanging date indefinitely.
The Case History
The gangrape and murder case of 23-year-old paramedic Jyoti Singh Pandey aka Nirbhaya on December 12, 2012, created ripples around the globe. It not only led to judicial changes but also triggered dialogue around women’s safety across the country. In this case, a total of six persons were convicted – Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Kumar Singh, Ram Singh and one juvenile person. Of these while Ram Singh committed suicide inside the Tihar Jail in 2013, the juvenile person walked free in 2016 after finishing three years in a correction home. The SC upheld the verdict of the death sentence for the rest of the convicts in 2018.
(Picture credit- Hindustan Times)