The wife of Akshay Kumar Singh alias Akshay Thakur, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case has sought a divorce so she does not have to live with the "stigma" of being the widow of a rapist.
The woman filed her divorce petition at Aurangabad family court of principal judge Ramlal Sharma on March 13. The case was taken up for hearing for admission on Tuesday. The hearing could not conclude and will resume on March 19, a day before the four convicts, including Thakur, are to be hanged.
"My husband is innocent, but he has been found guilty in the rape case and is to be hanged by the court order. I don't want to lead my life as his widow and want divorce," her petition reads.
Her lawyer Mukesh Kumar Singh said it was the legal right of the affected woman under certain provisions, including instance of rape, of the Hindu Marriage Act.
"As per law, if the husband of any woman is held guilty of rape, she can apply for divorce," he said.
Three other convicts in the case have now approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a stay on their hanging.
Out of the four convicts, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay have had their last face-to-face meetings with their respective families. The authorities have written to the family of Thakur about the date for final meeting before the scheduled date of execution.
Aurangabad police said Thakur worked as a cleaner of the bus in which he and five others brutalised a 23-year-old paramedic intern he was arrested on December 21, 2012, from his village.
Thakur's elder brother Vinay Singh said, "None from the family has gone to meet him, who is the youngest of three brothers. We have six bighas of land. We could not even afford a lawyer. Whatever is being done is by the government lawyer. We get updates on Akshay through TV or newspapers," he said.