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    Nirbhaya Case: Convict Files Plea Against Death Sentence In Supreme Court days before hanging

    Supreme Court

    New Delhi: One of the four men sentenced to death in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case has filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court, exercising the last legal option against the death sentence. Vinay Sharma approached the top court two days after a Delhi court declared that the four rapists will be hanged at 7 am on January 22.
    Mukesh Singh, 32, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, will be executed together at Tihar jail, where officials had started preparing a month ago, the court had said on Tuesday.

    All four reportedly broke down in jail after the death warrant. The death warrant has to be executed in 14 days, according to the order, and the convicts have this period to use exercise their remedies.

    A "dummy execution", which involves testing the gallows using weights, will be carried out in Jail 3 of Tihar, where the convicts will be executed, the jail administration said in a statement quoted by news agency ANI. Until the hanging, the four convicts will be in solitary confinement. They will be allowed the last meeting with a family member.

    The center had last month recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind the rejection of a request for mercy by Vinay Sharma.

    The Supreme Court has already turned down review petitions against the death sentence from three of the convicts, and a mercy petition from a fourth has been turned down.

    One of the convicts, Pawan Kumar Gupta, had even claimed he was a minor at the time of the crime. But the judge had dismissed it and imposed a Rs 25,000 fine on his lawyer for "playing hide-and-seek".

    Last month, the Supreme Court had dismissed the last review petition filed by Akshay Kumar Singh. Nirbhaya's parents then asked a lower court to issue a death warrant but the judge had deferred a decision until Tuesday.

    On December 16, 2012, the 23-year-old woman and her friend had watched a movie and were looking for a bus home when, at south Delhi, they were lured into a private bus, empty but for six men. The woman was raped for hours and tortured with an iron rod before being dumped on the road. She died on December 29, as a shocked and grieving nation took to the streets demanding justice.

    While the court said the four men will be hanged on January 22, two more were accused in the case. Ram Singh was found hanging in his cell and the sixth, who was just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after three years in a reform home.

    The Nirbhaya case, which scarred the nation, had been headlined across the world, triggering big changes to laws on sexual crimes against women. It also puts the focus on the increasing number of crimes involving juveniles, bringing about change that would see them tried as adults under specific circumstances.


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