Nirbhaya convicts
Nirbhaya gang rape case convicts, clockwise from top left: Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh. Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Once again rescheduling the hanging of four rapists in the Nirbhaya case for March 20 at 5:30 am, a Delhi court on Thursday issued a fresh death warrant to the convicts.

This is the fourth death warrant issued for the execution of the convicts in the matter.

Advocate AP Singh, appearing for the convicts, sought more time claiming that another mercy petition of a convict -- Vinay Singh Thakur -- is pending before the President.

This comes after President Ram Nath Kovind, on Wednesday, rejected the mercy petition of Pawan Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the case.

By now, mercy petitions of all the convicts in the case have been rejected by the President. However, a "complete" mercy petition of convict Akshay Singh Thakur was recently filed claiming that the previous one, which was turned down by the President on February 5, did not have "complete facts".

A plea was on Wednesday moved in the court seeking a fresh death warrant for the convicts in the case contending that the convicts have exhausted all the legal remedies.

Asha Devi, the mother of the victim, expressed satisfaction on the issuance of the fresh death warrant and said that her struggle will continue till all the four convicts in the matter are hanged.

A Delhi court had on Monday stayed for the third time the death sentence of four convicts in the case observing that they cannot be executed while a mercy petition is pending before the President.

The case pertains to the brutal gang-rape and killing of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.