The four convicts of the brutal rape and murder case of Nirbhaya- Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar (31), Vinay Sharma (26) and Pawan Gupta (25) were finally hanged at 5:30 am on the 20th of March 2020. Pawan Jallad pulled the lever exactly at 5:30 am and executed the death penalty of the four convicts in the Delhi Tihar Jail on Friday.
The Director-General of Tihar Jail, Sandeep Goel confronted the reporters gathered outside the prison and confirmed that the four convicts were hanged together early in the morning. After about 30 minutes of the hanging, the doctors declared the four convicts dead.
The bodies will be handed over to the families of the deceased after conducting the postmortem. DDU forensic department with 5-panel members under the supervision of Dr BN Mishra conducted the post mortem at 8:00 am.
The Supreme Court rejected the midnight plea of the convicts sent to the supreme court seeking for review of the death penalty and asking for relief at 2:30 am on Friday. The convicts had not expressed any last wish, and all their belongings, including their clothes and money they earned in jail, was handed over to their families.
The lawyer of the convicts, AP Singh, had also expressed concern of coronavirus lockdown, but none such claims were accepted by the court.
In December 2012, the entire country was staggered by the brutal and ruthless rape and murder case of a 23-year-old Nirbhaya. She was returning from a cinema hall in South Delhi’s Saket after watching the movie “Life of Pi”. She, along with her friend, has boarded the bus from Munrika Bus Stand at 9 pm. The gangrape and murder took place in the bus by six men, and the bodies of Nirbhaya and her friend were thrown out of the bus on the National Highway 8 near Mahipalpur flyover.
Nirbhaya was rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital by the passersby who spotted the two victims. The girl was in a serious condition and was transferred to a hospital in Singapore, where she died 13 days later.
This case caused a massive reaction from the people all over the country, and students pressurized the government to execute the death penalty of the convicts.
The police tracked down all the convicts within six days of the incident including the bus driver Ram Singh and the juvenile involved in the case.
The proceedings commenced in a fast track court on the 17th of January 2013, and the juvenile convict was ruled out. Ram Singh, the bus driver, was found hanging on his cell and was perceived to have committed suicide on the 11th of March 2013.
After nine months the court convicted the four remaining men of thirteen offences. These included cruel assault and murder of a woman, gangrape and attempted murder of her male friend. The death penalty was awarded to them in September 2013.
But the death penalty was upheld two times – first on the 13th of March 2014 by the Delhi High Court and the 5th of May 2017 by the Supreme Court.
The convicts were finally hanged at 5:30 am on the 20th of March 2020, after postponing the sentence three times in 3 months. The parents of Nirbhaya were relieved and expressed their satisfaction as justice was finally served. It took more than seven years to provide justice, and Nirbhaya’s family had to suffer a lot in this long course of time. A large crowd of people had gathered outside the prison early in the morning.
RAPE LAWS CHANGES AFTER NIRBHAYA CASE
The nationwide protests that had erupted after the incident in the year 2013 had led to the government passing the Criminal Law Act ( amendment). The law had broadened the definition of rape and had made the punishment more detailed. The ruling came into effect from the 2nd of April 2013.
Convicts had tried their best to stall the execution and had compiled their petitions to the court in a very planned manner one after the other. They had exhausted all their legal rights.
Here is a chronological list of events that took place:-
- The first death warrant was issued to be conducted on the 22nd of January 2020 at 7:00 am in Tihar Jail.
- The second death warrant by the Delhi Court for the 17th of February 2020 was also postponed as Vinay Sharma’s mercy plea was submitted to the president.
- On the 17th of February 2020, issued another death warrant for the 3rd of March 2020. It was again postponed as Pawan Gupta had filed for a mercy plea which was rejected by the President Ram Nath Kovind soon after.
- Finally, the convicts had exhausted all their legal rights, and a final death warrant was issued for the 20th of March 2020 by the Patiala High Court, which was finally executed putting the case to rest.