03:47 GMT28 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The four convicts who have been sentenced to death for the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012, have been trying to delay their hanging which has been already been postponed from 22 January to 1 February.

    India’s Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition by Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four convicts in the 2012 gang rape case of “Nirbhaya”, after the accused had requested to convert his death sentence to life imprisonment.

    In his plea, Akshay Kumar Singh argued that the court had in the past commuted the capital punishment of people accused of rape and murder.

    “…the idea that life imprisonment amounts to ‘forgiving’ the criminal is backed by nothing more than a barely masked need to justify vengeance and retribution,” the convict argued.

    On Wednesday, another convict Mukesh Singh’s petition challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the President of India was dismissed by the top court. Mukesh Singh claimed that he was tortured in prison and the medical reports proving his allegations weren’t presented before the President.

    The court rejected the petition, saying torture cannot be considered grounds and all documents were taken into consideration by President Ram Nath Kovind while reviewing the plea.

    The fatal assault on the woman named Nirbhaya (the fearless), who was gang-raped and brutally attacked by six men in a moving bus while she was returning home from a movie theatre with a male friend on 16 December 2012, galvanised the nation that erupted into protests demanding justice for the medical student and the safety of women across the country. She succumbed to her injuries in a hospital shortly after the incident.

    Out of the six men found guilty of the rape, the key accused Ram Singh died in custody in a Delhi jail, and another one was set free after spending three years in a reform facility as he was a juvenile when the crime was committed. 

    The Delhi Court on 7 January announced that the four men - Pawan Gupta, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma - convicted in the rape and murder of the Delhi woman will be hanged on 22 January, giving them 14 days to file mercy petitions with the President. The date was later shifted to 1 February.


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    death sentence, Nirbhaya, gang rape, New Delhi, India
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