Nirbhaya Case Culprits: The criminals are finally hanged (updated)

After 7 long years after the horrific Nirbhaya case which shocked not just India but the world, the Nirbhaya case culprits are finally hanged. Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar (31), and Mukesh Kumar (32), the criminals who committed the gangrape and murder of Nirbhaya, have been hanged in Delhi's Tihar jail on Friday morning.

mortuary premises Nirbhaya case culprits hanged to death
DDU Hospital's mortuary premises where post mortem of Nirbhaya convicts, who were hanged to death

The day before the convicts were hanged, they were reportedly sobbing and refused their evening tea on Thursday. But to be honest, who really cares?

The bereaved mother of Nirbhaya, Asha Devi, finally got to see justice delivered after her daughter's rapists and murderers were executed. She believed that while justice has been delayed for too long, it managed to arrive at last.

“It is a victory for all women and daughters. I want to thank everyone, the judiciary, and the government for this. The way the courts acted proactively in the last 24 hours, in the dismissal of all petitions filed by the convicts, has restored my faith in the system that was shaken over the past seven years,” said Mrs. Asha Devi.

Ambulance bodies four convicts executed Tihar Jail Nirbhaya case
Ambulance carrying the bodies of four Nirbhaya culprits executed at Tihar Jail

Mrs. Devi believes that the execution of every Nirbhaya case culprit should be a deterrent to future rapists and killers who continue to treat women atrociously.

"Finally, the entire country and society got justice. The entire country and the system was awake for the justice of my daughter. The dawn on Friday will be a sign of a better future for the daughters and women of this nation. I am really very thankful to each and everyone who has supported us for the last seven years,” - Mrs. Devi.

hanging convicts Nirbhaya day
After the Nirbhaya convicts were finally hanged, some say the day of execution should be a day of observation

Despite cases of rape being very common in India, the punishment of rapists has often been very lenient, and executions are very rare for any type of crime, let alone rape and murder. Let's hope this will set a precedent for future justice and more safety for women.

Nirbhaya Case Culprits: Hanging delayed for third time

If you have been wondering whether Nirbhaya case culprits hanged or not, then sadly they are not. The hanging of the four convicted criminals in the notorious 2012 Nirbhaya case once again did not happen. A Nirbhaya case culprit filed a mercy plea before the execution, and so the hangings could not take place.

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The continuous delay of the execution is letting everyone down

This has been the third time the Nirbhaya case culprits have escaped death in over 6 weeks. The culprits have repeatedly used mercy pleas as a delaying tactic to prolong the legal process. Each of the culprits has taken turns submitting mercy pleas.

This time, the culprit of Nirbhaya case responsible for the delaying ruse was Pawan Gupta. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said the law requires these pleas must be addressed before the execution could take place.  Speaking to the press, he said: "the hanging cannot be carried out pending disposal of Pawan Gupta’s mercy plea before the President".

Nirbhaya Case Culprits Protest 3
The anger over the terrible crime continues to boil

He added that "observing any condemned convict must not meet his 'Creator' with grievance against courts for not acting fairly on the opportunity to exhaust legal remedies".

Nirbhaya Case Culprits: Executions to take place on March 20

So now, a city court has set March 20 as the execution date for the Nirbhaya case culprits. The court based this on obligation rather than any legal war. This ruling is the last regarding the execution. After three postponements and 7 years since the capital punishment verdict, will there finally be a sense of closure to the tragedy?

Nirbhaya Case Culprits Protest 2
Will this delay be the last?

"Death warrants issued by this court with respect to condemned convicts Mukesh, Pawan, Akshay, and Vinay shall now be carried into effect by hanging the convicts by the neck until they are dead on March 20 at 5.30 am," Judge Dharmender Rana said.

But what stops the execution from delaying again? Apparently, the mercy plea by Nirbhaya case culprit Pawan Gupta was the last possible one that the President can review. Special prosecutor Irfan Ahmed told the city court that Gupta was the last convict to exhaust the legal remedy of the President's mercy.

Nirbhaya Case Culprits: Why couldn't the execution take place on March 3?

The execution of four convicted Nirbhaya case culprits was to take place on March 3. The culprits' names are Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma, Akshay Kumar Singh, and Pawan Gupta. Before Gupta filed the final mercy plea, the others did the same with their own mercy pleas which were all dismissed.

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The four devils who continue to elude justice

January was supposed to be when the execution would happen until the postponement to February 1. The court suddenly postponed the execution on January 31, but on February 17 issued the execution date on March 3. Which as we all know, did not happen again.

The hanging could not take place because a mercy plea was pending before the President. One of the culprits' lawyers, AP Singh, said his client has "filed a mercy plea and execution ought to be stayed".

Nirbhaya Case Culprits: Why couldn't the execution take place on March 3? (cont'd)

Judge Rana scolded the lawyer for dragging his feet in filing the curative and mercy pleas. He pointed out how Gupta missed the 7th-day deadline for the filing. The deadline came from the High Court last month so the culprit of Nirbhaya case could avail of his legal remedies.

Nirbhaya Case Culprits Protest
The legal process has many exploits that delay justice

“You are playing with fire, you should be cautious,” said Rana to AP Singh. “One wrong move by anybody and you know the consequences!”

But there was not much the judge could do at that point. Tihar officials said that "the ball is in the government’s court after filing of the mercy petition and the judge has no role for now".

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People's anger definitely fueled the need to execute the rapists, even the juvenile convict

Pawan Gupta's curative plea sought a commute to life imprisonment and a stay on the execution of black warrant that the trial court issued. However, the Supreme Court moved quickly to dismiss the curative petition by Nirbhaya case culprit Pawan Gupta.

“The application for oral hearing is rejected. The application for stay of execution of death sentence is also rejected. The curative petition is dismissed”. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan made the decision.

Nirbhaya Case Culprits: What led up to this moment

A lot of events took place since the 2012 tragedy that kept people wondering if Nirbhaya case culprits hanged or not. A Delhi court actually handed out the death sentence to the culprits back in September 2013.

Nirbhaya Case Culprits Girl
Will the girl's death finally receive justice?

The decision was made barely a year after a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was savagely raped and tortured in December 2012 on a Delhi bus. Her battle for survival and tragic death made her become known as Nirbhaya, meaning 'fearless'.

Even after the court made such a clear verdict, all sorts of legal loopholes and petitions delayed the execution for years. A series of review and curative petitions filed haphazardly in the Supreme Court against the Delhi Court's order in March 2014 which confirmed the sentence.

Then the convicts began to exhaust the last option being the mercy petition to the President. They did this one after the other until Pawan Gupta used his last mercy plea.

Nirbhaya Case Culprits Mother
The girl's mother continues to stay strong and fight until the devils go to hell!

Asha Devi, the distraught mother of Nirbhaya, said to reporters that "this shows the failure of our system. The whole world is watching how justice is being delayed in India".

"I lose hope every day but I stand tall every day. They would have to be hanged. There could not have been a worse case than Nirbhaya but still, I am struggling to get justice. The courts are sitting and watching the drama".

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