During the hearing of the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case in Delhi High Court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Sunday cited the last year’s Hyderabad Veterinarian gangrape and murder case and said people celebrating the encounter of rape accused was indicative of depreciation in the country’s judicial system.

He further said that the convicts are exploiting the process of law and there was a deliberate delay on the part of the convict and prompt response on part of the institution.

“There cannot be any delay in the interest of the justice, death sentence cannot be delayed. In the interest of the convict, any delay in death sentence will have a dehumanising effect on the accused,” he said.

Accusing them of acting in tandem through their petition against their hanging order, Mehta said, “Law requires a 14 days notice period to be given to the convicts to take care of their affairs before they are hanged. In this case, on the 13th day, a convict will file some plea and then ask for a warrant to stay against all.”

Citing Delhi Prison Rules, he said that according to the rule, in case of co-convicts, they have to be hanged together only if an appeal or application is pending. This doesn’t include mercy petitions and they are separated and cannot be included in this.

However, reacting to the SG’s remarks, convicts lawyer AP Singh said to the court, “Why only in this case there is a hurry? Justice hurried is justice buried.”

Advocate Rebecca John who was arguing on behalf of convict Mukesh said, “With the change of circumstances, he has the right to file mercy petition, High Court can’t say it is over.”

“My rights are protected and that’s why I am pressing for a common execution,” he added.

Representing convict Mukesh in the case, John said, “I am a horrible person, I have committed the worst crime imaginable. But still, I am entitled to protection under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

“Even as a death row convict, I have a right to be treated fairly,” he said.

On Saturday, centre had moved the Delhi High Court against the trial court order postponing the execution of death warrants of the four convicts on 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The Centre’s move came a day after the trial court postponed the hanging of the four convicts just a day before it was scheduled.

The Delhi Court had reserved its order on the peition by the Central government challenging an indefinite stay imposed on the execution of the four convicts in the case.

Earlier, January 22 was fixed the date for the hanging of the four convicts in the case which was postponed to February 1 after convict Mukesh Singh’s mercy plea was rejected.

The 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case has witnessed a series of twists and turns right after the Patiala House Court in Delhi had awarded the death sentence to the four culprits. Review petition and curative petitions were filed in the Supreme Court against the Delhi court’s order after which the option of mercy petition before the President was practiced by the convicts one by one.