One of the Nirbhaya rape case convict Akshay Thakur’s wife has filed for a divorce in a local court in Bihar’s Aurangabad. The court has posted the matter for March 19, just a day before the convicts’ hanging.
Punita Thakur in her plea has said she does not want to live the life of a widow as her husband is set to be hanged on March 20.
Punita has said, “My husband is innocent. I want to be legally divorced before he is hanged.”
Punita’s lawyer Mukesh Kumar Singh, while talking to the media in Aurangabad, said, “My client (Akshay Kumar Singh’s wife Punita Singh) has a right to seek divorce from her husband. That is why I have filed a plea in the family court. She has the right to seek divorce under Section 13(2)(II) of Hindu Marriage Act which says a woman can seek divorce if the husband has, since the solemnisation of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.”
“Yes, the woman can file for divorce if her husband has been convicted in a case of rape,”quoted news agency IANS a senior lawyer at Tis Hazari court in Delhi as saying.
Earlier, on March 17, another convict Mukesh Singh moved a court in Delhi seeking quashing of death penalty, claiming he was not in Delhi on the date of the crime and further alleged that he was tortured inside the Tihar jail.
The plea filed before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana claimed that on December 16, 2012, Mukesh Singh was not in Delhi at the time when the crime took place and was arrested from Rajasthan and brought to Delhi on December 17, 2012.
It bears recall that all the four convicts in the case were scheduled to be hanged on March 3 at Delhi’s Tihar Jail. However, the court decided to hear the lawyer of Pawan Kumar Gupta after it was informed that he has filed a mercy plea before the President of India after his curative petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court earlier in the day.which This was pronounced by a Delhi court on Monday evening.
A trial court issued fresh death warrants on March 5 against the four convicts Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Kumar Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) ordering their execution on March 20, 5.30 am.
The 23-year-old woman, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and assaulted on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case.
They have been using tactics to delay the hanging, which has already been postponed twice. They have even approached international court and India’s Human Rights Commission.
have approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking stay on the execution of their death sentence.
On March 16, the three convicts Pawan Kumar Gupta and Akshay Kumar Singh and Vinay Kumar Sharma had approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking stay on the execution of their death sentence.
According to some legal experts, there is no chance of any further delay in the 4 convicts’ hanging as all formalities have been completed and the convicts have exhausted all legal remedies.
(With agency inputs)