Four convicted of horrific 2012 Delhi rape to be executed on January 22 in India's central prison

The mother of the victim, Jyoti Singh, hailed the country's Supreme Court's decision to reject a plea filed by the accused and said it would restore the faith of women in the law

                            Four convicted of horrific 2012 Delhi rape to be executed on January 22 in India's central prison
Asha Devi, the mother of Delhi rape victim (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Four men convicted in the horrific 2012 rape and murder of a physiotherapy intern have had a date set for their execution and will be hanged to the death at 7 am on January 22 in capital Delhi's Tihar Jail.

A Delhi court issued a death warrant for the four convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, during the hearing of a plea seeking the issuance of a 'black warrant' against them, according to India Today. A black warrant is a part of the Code of Criminal Procedure in India and initiates the procedure for executing a person who has been sentenced to death. It also lists the time and place of execution.

The four, as well as a juvenile and a fifth man who died in police custody, had been arrested after 23-year-old Jyoti was beaten, gang-raped, and tortured in a private bus in which she was traveling with her friend on the night of December 16, 2012.

She was eventually rushed to a hospital, where she was found to have suffered injuries to her abdomen, intestines, and genitals, and doctors said the damage indicated a blunt object may have been used to penetrate her. She was later flown to a hospital in Singapore for emergency treatment but succumbed to her injuries and was declared dead on December 29.

The case caught the attention of not only national but international media as well, and the accused went to trial in a fast-track court. In September 2013, all were found guilty of sexual assault and murder and were sentenced to death.

All four had appealed the sentence, with the issuing of the death warrant this week coming after the country's Supreme Court dismissed Akshay Kumar Singh's plea seeking a review of its 2017 judgment that had already upheld the death penalty. The court had similarly dismissed the review pleas filed by the other convicts in July last year.

Jyoti's mother, Asha Devi, hailed the decision and said it would restore the faith of women in the law. "My daughter has got justice." she said. "Execution of the four convicts will empower the women of the country. This decision will strengthen the trust of people in the judicial system."

Her father, Badrinath Singh, similarly 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."

However, the death warrant does not mean that the legal options for the accused have been exhausted. They can still file a curative plea against the death warrant, as well as a mercy plea before the president, though both are expected to be dismissed.

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