Patna: Puneeta Devi, wife of Akshay Kumar—one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case—has sought divorce from her husband as he is set to be hanged.
Puneeta filed a divorce petition in the family court in Bihar's Aurangabad district on Tuesday. Puneeta, in her divorce petition, has made it clear that she did not want to live the rest of her life as a widow of Akshay. But she maintained that her husband is innocent.
She has stated that as her husband has been convicted in a rape case and is set to be hanged after the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Her lawyer Mukesh Kumar Singh said Puneeta has the right to seek divorce from her husband under Hindu Marriage Act; this is her right given by the law.
According to sources close to Akshay’s family in a village in Aurangabad, it is a last bid by his family to give a new twist to the case.
The court has issued death warrants for execution on March 20 against the four death row convicts—Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She succumbed to her injuries a fortnight later, in a Singapore hospital.
Six people including the four convicts, Ram Singh and a juvenile were named as accused.
The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013.
Ram Singh, the prime accused, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.
The juvenile was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. He, when released, was 20 years old.
Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan were sentenced to death in September 2013 by the trial court which was challenged by them in higher courts, but their pleas were rejected.