A Delhi court Friday deferred the executions of four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case hours before they were scheduled to be hung, lawyers involved in the case said. The decision came amid a flurry of petitions by the convicts to stall their hanging, set for Saturday.
"The court has postponed the hangings until further orders. The judge said the convicts still had remedies available against their execution," Jitendra Jha, a lawyer for the victim's parents, said. The hangings could not take place until after the mercy pleas by three convicts were settled by President Ram Nath Kovind, who rejected the mercy plea of one of the convicts on Jan. 17. "While a mercy petition of one of the convicts is pending before the president, the other two could also move similar pleas," Jha said.
A 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped and beaten on a moving bus in the Indian capital on Dec.16, 2012, sparking mass protests and an international outcry. She died nearly two weeks later at a Singapore hospital.
This is the second time the hangings have been deferred as the court had earlier set Jan. 22 for the execution to take place. The Supreme Court has already confirmed death sentences for the four convicts. Domestic media reported that it could take at least a month before the mercy pleas were settled and the hangings took place. According to reports, the hangman had arrived at the Tihar jail in New Delhi and had already performed dummy hangings Friday.
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