A condemned convict has the right of legal aid under the Indian Constitution and his fundamental rights cannot be ignored, a Delhi court said while adjourning the matter to issue a fresh date for the execution of the four convicts in the December 16 gang rape case. 

Minutes after the court deferred the hearing to February 17, protests broke outside the Patiala House court complex by two groups—one seeking issuance of death warrant and the second by the parents of the convicts who wanted to stop the hanging.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana said the Constitution protects the life and liberty of a condemned prisoner till his last breath. “…It is a matter of right to exhaust his legal remedies and the court cannot afford to ignore the fundamental rights of the convict,” he said.

The oral order was given while hearing pleas by victim’s mother Asha Devi and the state seeking issuance of fresh death warrants to execute Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and Mukesh Singh, who were sentenced to death in 2013 for the rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student on a moving bus on December 16, 2012.


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