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‘Don’t we have rights’: Nirbhaya’s mother after Delhi court declines death warrant for convicts

The Delhi court directed Tihar Jail authorities to issue a fresh notice to the convicts to file mercy petitions, and adjourned the matter for January 7.

SNS | New Delhi |

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Wednesday declined to give death warrants to the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case allowing them time to access their legal remedies.

The Delhi court directed Tihar Jail authorities to issue a fresh notice to the convicts to file mercy petitions, and adjourned the matter for January 7.

Following the court’s order, Nirbhaya’s mother, who has been running from pillar to post for the past seven years seeking justice for her daughter, broke down.

“Do we not have any rights… Wherever we go, we hear people talking about the rights of their (convicts)… What about ours,” she said as she wept.

On this, the court told the victim’s mother that “it knows somebody has died but the convicts too have some legal rights.”

“I have full sympathy with you. I know someone has died but there are their rights too. We are here to listen to you but are also bound by the law,” Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora said.

During the course of hearing, the prosecution had filed an application seeking issuance of death warrants against the convicts.

The public prosecutor had argued in the court that pendency of mercy petitions or the fact that convicts want to file mercy petitions does not preclude the court from issuing a death warrant

Speaking to reporters after the court’s judgement, the victim’s mother, who looked clearly miserable said: “The court has given them time to seek remedy. Court is only looking at their rights and not ours. There is no guarantee that a judgement will be given on next date of hearing.”

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court rejected the review petition of Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the convicts in the brutal Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, confirming the death penalty awarded to him earlier.

The SC bench said there are no grounds to review the verdict and the contentions raised by convict Akshay Kumar Singh were already considered by the top court in the main judgement.

The Supreme Court has already dismissed the review pleas of three other convicts — Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24) — also on death row. 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.

One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide at Tihar Jail in Delhi.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, 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.