New Delhi, March 5: A Delhi court on Thursday issued a fresh death warrant against the convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. As per the black warrant released by the Patiala House Court, the four convicted of raping and murdering the victim will be executed on March 20, 2020. The hanging is scheduled in the wee hours of that day, at 5:30 am. Nirbhaya Case Timeline: Chronology of Events in the 2012 Gangrape and Murder Case.

The four convicts - Mukesh Singh (32), Vinay Sharma (25), Pawan Gupta (26) and Akshay Singh Thakur (29) - were first convicted by a fast track court constituted in the aftermath of the horrific crime they had committed in 2012. Their convictions were upheld by the Supreme Court in 2017, paving the way for execution.

Update by ANI

After the death warrant was first issued by Delhi's Patiala House - scheduling their hanging in January - the convicts exercised their constitutional remedies. Since they were yet to exhaust all their legal options, three death warrants issued so far had to be cancelled.

The latest death warrant was issued by the court a day after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy plea of convict Pawan. His petition was considered to be the last legal hurdle before the execution of the Nirbhaya case convicts.

Asha Devi, the victim's mother who has led a relentless struggle over the last seven years, welcomed the court's decision. She, however, added that the warrant must be executed and no longer deferred. "Since the four convicts have exhausted all the legal remedies, I hope that they will be hanged till death on the designated date," Devi said.

Advocate AP Singh, who defended the Nirbhaya case convicts before the bench, pleaded for a stay on the death warrant. The lawyer said he would be exercising all possible legal options in attempt to commute the death penalty into life imprisonment. "They have already suffered a lot. From the past seven years, they (convicts) have went through a harrowing experience," he told reporters outside the court.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 05, 2020 02:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website