Friday, January 31, 2020
NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Friday postponed "until further notice" the hanging, previously scheduled for Saturday, of four men involved in a gang-rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in 2012.
The brutal attack on Nirbhaya sparked weeks of demonstrations and shone a spotlight on the alarming rates of sexual violence and the plight of women in India.
Four men were convicted in 2013 and were due to be hanged simultaneously on Saturday at 6:00 am in India's first execution since 2015.
A fifth, the suspected ringleader, was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide, while a 17-year-old accomplice spent three years in a juvenile detention centre.
The delay was because one of the men still has the option of a final legal appeal. Another has filed a "mercy petition" with the Indian president, which is outstanding.
The court had earlier said they would be executed on January 22, a ruling that prompted the convicts to seek last possible legal remedies.
The Indian Supreme Court had upheld death sentences against the four men in 2017 and since then their execution had been stuck in a legal quagmire.
23-year old Nirbhaya was attacked in December 2012 while returning home after visiting the cinema with a male friend.
Her assailants took turns to rape and violate her with a metal rod as the bus drove around the capital, before dumping her and the beaten-up friend on the road.