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‘Criminally sinful’: Plea for Nirbhaya convicts’ hanging date rejected over pending legal remedies

The Delhi High Court had on Wednesday ruled that all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case should exercise their legal remedies within a week.

SNS | New Delhi |


A Delhi court on Friday dismissed a request by the Tihar Jail authorities seeking fresh warrants to hang all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.

Public prosecutor Irfan Ahmad had apprised the Patiala House Court about the High Court’s recent order which mentioned that the convicts need to exhaust their pending legal remedies in seven days.

The Public prosecutor said, three mercy petitions have been dismissed till now and no application of any convict was pending in any court, while requesting to issue a fresh date of execution.

The trial court, while dismissing the plea of prosecution, stated that death warrants cannot be issued on the basis of conjecture alone.

“It is criminally sinful to execute the convicts when the law permits them to live,” the court observed.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case should exercise their legal remedies within a week.

Post one week, the proceedings against the convicts — Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur Singh and Pawan Gupta — for the execution of death warrant will be initiated.

The court had also dismissed the Centre’s plea challenging the trial court order which had stayed the execution of the convicts.

The Delhi High Court said the death warrant against the four convicts cannot be executed separately. It observed that Delhi prison rules do not state that if mercy petition of one convict is pending, the execution of the other convicts can take place.

The Patiala House Court had on January 31 deferred the hanging of four convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case — scheduled for February 1 — till further orders.

“Without commenting upon the dilatory tactics adopted by the convicts, it would suffice to state that seeking redressal of one’s grievances through a procedure established by law was the hallmark of any civilized society. The courts of this country cannot afford to adversely discriminate any convict, including death row convicts in pursuit of his legal remedies, by turning Nelson’s eye towards him,” the trial court had observed.

Earlier, according to a January 7 order, the convicts were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has posted for February 11 the appeal of the Central government against Delhi High Court’s order rejecting its plea to separately execute the death row convicts in the December 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Friday urged the Supreme Court to lay down a law in the execution of death sentence, as the convicts in the Nirbhaya case were making a “mockery of the process”.

The 23-year-old woman, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.

Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petition in July 2018.