New Delhi: As the Patiala House Court on Wednesday (December 18) deferred the hearing on the hanging of Nirbhaya rape and murder convicts till January 7, 2020, mother of 2012 gangrape victim, Asha Devi broke down in Court. She asked the court "how long should we wait. Wherever we go, we are told they (convicts) have so many rights, but where are our rights?
Sympathising with the victim's mother, the judge said, "I have all sympathies with you, but they have some rights that we have to give them."
The Patiala House Court also directed Tihar Jail authorities to issue a notice to the convicts giving them one week to clarify the status of their mercy petitions. The case will next be heard on January 7.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court rejected the review petition filed by Akshay Singh Thakur, one of the death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case. The newly-constituted three-member bench, comprising Justice Bhanumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna rejected the Akshay's plea.
Akshay had moved the top court seeking clemency on the ground that the "rising pollution" has already increased the mortality rates. He sought commutation of the death penalty awarded to him and four others.
Besides Akshay, three other convicts, Mukesh, Akshay, and Pawan are facing the gallows for rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. The girl, who was later named Nirbhaya, died of injuries a few days later.
Two more persons, including prime accused Ram Singh, were also accused of committing the crime. He, however, committed suicide in the Tihar jail during the trial of the case. Another accused was a minor at the time of the commission of the crime, therefore, was sent to a reform facility.
In 2013, a fast-track court had held the four condemned men guilty in the case. Their conviction was also upheld by the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court later.
Akshay is only one of the four convicts who had not filed the review petition in the case. Mukesh, Pawan, and Vinay had filed the review petition last year but it was rejected by the apex court.