The four men, convicted in the brutal gangrape and murder of a Delhi medical student in 2012, were hanged to death at the Tihar Central Jail in Delhi in the wee hours of Friday morning.
The convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Pawan Kumar Gupta — were taken to the gallows a day after the Patiala House Court dismissed all their peitions and stated that their execution will take place as scheduled.
After a 45-minute hearing, a special three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in the wee hours of Friday rejected the plea of death row convict Pawan Gupta challenging the rejection of second mercy plea by the President Ram Nath Kovind and seeking stay on the death sentence.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court had also trashed the plea of all death row convicts at around 11 pm on Thursday. The entire legal process in the execution of the death sentence was completed and the hanging of the accused was confirmed at 5.30 am.
The Delhi court had on March 5 issued death warrant — the fourth one — against the four convicts, ordering their execution at 5.30 am on March 20. The death warrant was issued as the four men had exhausted all the legal remedies available to them.
Earlier, the Delhi court had issued death warrants against the four convicts thrice.
On February 17, the court issued a death warrant against the convicts ordering their execution on March 3. However, the trial court on March 2, pronounced that the four convicts will not be hanged on the scheduled day as Pawan’s mercy plea was pending before the President.
Prior to that, the Patiala House Court had on January 31 deferred the hanging of four convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case — scheduled for February 1 — till further orders.
The first death warrant was issued on January 7, ordering the hanging of the Nirbhaya convicts at 7 am on January 22.
The four convicts in the gangrape case, which triggered massive nationwide outrage in 2012, have been exploring every legal option one by one to stretch the date of their hanging as much as they can.
The Supreme Court had already confirmed death penalty for all the four convicts. The court found no merit in conducting the review and upheld the capital punishment given by the trial court and confirmed by the Delhi High Court in the case.
A 23-year-old woman physiotherapist, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in south Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
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.
Pawan Jallad, the hangman from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district, was tasked with the duty to hang the four convicts, which was carried out as per the guidelines prescribed under the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018.