No filmy-style last wish question for Nirbhaya gangrape-murder convicts

In a big development, Delhi's Patiala House court on Tuesday (January 7) issued a death warrant for the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. The four convicts - Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta - will be hanged at 7 am on January 22.

No filmy-style last wish question for Nirbhaya gangrape-murder convicts

In a big development, Delhi's Patiala House court on Tuesday (January 7) issued a death warrant for the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. The four convicts - Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta - will be hanged at 7 am on January 22.

Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi welcomed the court's verdict and said that her struggle of seven years has finally ended. "My daughter has got justice. Execution of the four convicts will empower the women of the country. This decision will strengthen the trust of people in the judicial system," she said.

"I am happy with the court's decision. The convicts will be hanged at 7 am on 22nd January. This decision will instil fear in people who commit such crimes," said Badrinath Singh, father of Nirbhaya. 

This is the first time in the history of India that four death row convicts will be hanged together.

You must have seen in several Bollywood films that the jail authorities ask the last wish of death row convicts but according to jail manual it is not necessary to ask the last wish of the convict before the hanging. Talking to Zee News, former Director General of Tihar Jail Ajay Kashyap said that the tradition to ask last wish is shown only in films and it has no legal value.

The argument behind this is that the death row convict can ask for delay of hanging as last wish and it cannot be fulfilled because hanging is a judicial order which should be carried out at the decided time. But the convicts who are to be hanged are allowed to pen their will before being taken to the place where the convict will be hanged. 

The issuance of death warrant means that the four convicts will now be not allowed to work inside jail and they will be kept under round-the-clock surveillance. The medical check-up of convict against whom death warrant is issued is done two times in a day. The black warrant issued by the court is sent to the jail in a red envelope and convicts and their family members are informed about the death warrant by the jail authorities. Death warrant is called Black Warrant of Form No 44 in legal parlance. The death warrant is sent to jail superintendent by the court.

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When a death row convict is made to stand on the platform meant for hanging, the hangman ties both the legs of the convict and then places the noose around the neck of the convict. Initially, the noose is kept loose and then the medical team inspects the rope. Once the medical team finishes the inspection then the hangman tightens the noose and pulls the lever of the platform on which the convict is standing.

The convict is kept hanging for around 30 minutes and when the medical team confirms that the convict is dead then the team issues the death certificate of the convict and gives it to the jail superintendent. The jail authorities then attach the death certificate with the black warrant and send it to the court.

As per the jail manual, the body of the convict is then sent to their family members in an ambulance but if the jail superintendent thinks that the handing over of the body could create law and order situation then the last rites are performed inside the jail premise. Before hanging the convict, the jailor goes to his office to check whether any order has come at the last moment to stop the hanging of the death row convict.  On the day of hanging, the convicts are woken up before sunrise. The platforms on which hanging is done are designed as per the weight of the convict.

The convict is made to take bath and is given tea and breakfast before hanging. The convict is then given black cloth to wear because when the body of the convict goes down the platform after pulling of lever then the convict discharge urine and stool due to the sudden fracture of bone in the neck and this is the reason why convict is made to wear black clothes.