The saga of the Nirbhaya rapists avoiding their execution continues. After having exhausted all legal remedies available to them as per the Indian law, they have now moved the International Court of Justice with their petition for clemency on their execution order. This comes in the wake of the Supreme Court of India dismissing a fresh plea seeking the stay on their death sentence.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old medical student’s horrific gang-rape in a moving bus shook the nation, and made India’s disastrous rape statistics the cynosure of all headlines. Six were arrested, of which one, Ram Singh, allegedly killed himself in Tihar Jail mere days after the trial began. Another, a juvenile, was made to serve a three-year sentence in a correctional home, and released in 2015.
The remaining four convicts—Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh—have been sentenced to death by hanging. However, their execution has been deferred thrice because they continue to submit pleas to the President and the Supreme Court for clemency.
On Monday, a fresh plea submitted by one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, was once again dismissed by the Supreme Court, thereby exhausting all the legal remedies available to them. Their execution was set for 5.30 am IST on March 20, 2020. However, now that three of the four convicts have appealed to the International Court of Justice, the execution date might once again be in jeopardy.
The International Court of Justice or ICJ is the judicial arm of the United Nations. It is convened at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands and comprises a 15-judge panel that is chosen by the UN General Assembly and Security Council.