The four convicts in the Delhi gang-rape case will be hanged at 5.30 am on March 20, a Delhi court ordered on Thursday. This is the fourth death warrant to be issued by the court in the case.
The order came a day after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Pawan Gupta; with this, all the four convicts have exhausted all the legal options available to them.
The Tihar Jail authorities had filed a petition on Wednesday for issuing a fresh death warrant to the four convicts - Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and Pawan.
The father of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim had expressed hope on Wednesday that the convicts will be hanged this month. "He has one option left - that is to challenge the mercy plea in Supreme Court as the others have done. Let's see what happens next, but we are confident of getting justice," the 23-year-old victim's father said.
"We are hopeful that the convicts will be hanged this month and justice will be finally delivered to us after a long wait," he further said.
The first date of execution of the four convicts, January 22, was postponed to February 1. Then the trial court on January 31 stayed the execution till further orders as the convicts had not exhausted their legal remedies.
The court on February 17 directed that the four be hanged at 6 am on March 3. It was the third date of execution of the death warrants.
The woman paramedic student was gang-raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She succumbed to injuries on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where she was taken for better medical treatment.
While one of the accused, Ram Singh had committed suicide in jail, a juvenile accused was released from a remand home after completion of his term.