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Amidst the twists, turns, delays and frustration, justice at last in Nirbhaya case

New Delhi, Mar 20: Justice was delivered at last and the four killers in the Nirbhaya case were hanged at the Tihar jail in the wee hours of Friday.

The hanging was confirmed by Sandeep Goel, Director General of Tihar jail. The killers made a last ditch attempt to stall the hanging by approaching the Supreme Court. At 2.30 am, the Supreme Court refused to stall the execution. On Thursday, the convicts had even approached the High Court, but failed to get any relief.

The investigation, trial and execution in the Nirbhaya case only shows how justice can be fast tracked.

The police managed to arrest all six convicts within days of the crime, which included the bus driver Ram Singh and a juvenile. The crime took place on December 16 2012. The proceedings before a fast track court began on January 17 2013. It was in the same month that the Juvenile Justice Board held that the sixth accused, a minor would be dealt separately.

In March 2013, Ram Singh was found hanging from his cell at the Tihar jail. On August 31 the same year, the juvenile was convicted and was awarded a three year term at a probation home.

In September 2013, the trial court convicted the remaining four accused for rape and murder and awarded death sentence. The Delhi High Court upheld the death sentences on March 13 2014. Appeals were filed in the Supreme Court and on May 5 2017, the conviction and death sentences were upheld.

From here a delay began as the convicts decided to exercise their legal remedies separately. The first death warrant was issued for January 22 and then another one was issued for February 17. The multiple warrants were being issued as the convicts filed a mercy plea before the President of India. Following this another death warrant was issued for March 6.

During this period the convicts filed mercy petitions and curative pleas. The final death warrant was issued on March 5 for March 20 at 5.30 am. The killers made one last ditch attempt and approached the Supreme Court hours before the hanging. Their plea was rejected and the hanging finally took place on March 20, 5.30 am.

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