A Delhi court on Monday refused to stay the execution of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, which is scheduled to take place at 6 am tomorrow.
After the pronouncement of the order, counsel for convicts, AP Singh apprised Additional Sessions Judge, Dharmendra Rana, that Pawan Gupta has filed a mercy petition on Monday.
The convict filed the plea after his curative petition was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier on Monday. Pawan was the only convict who had not yet exhausted his legal remedies.
The President has already dismissed the mercy plea of three other convicts Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Thakur.
Meanwhile, Nirbhaya’s mother expressed happiness over the dismissal of convict’s application and said, “I am glad that they will be hanged tomorrow. These last few hours are crucial for us.”
During the course of proceedings, Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmad told the court that condemned convicts are playing with the rule of law and are adopting all kinds of frivolous tactics to delay the hanging.
“There is no plausible or legal ground to stay the execution of death sentence which has already been deferred twice.”
Meanwhile, AP Singh, representing the convicts, said that Rule 836 of the Delhi Prison Rule, 2018, unequivocally mandates that “as long as any appeal or application of the convict is pending before the apex court, the deaths sentence cannot be executed.”
He argued that the court should stay the execution of death sentence against all the convicts otherwise the remedies would become “meaningless and illusionary”.
The trial court on February 17 issued a fresh death warrant against the four convicts ordering their execution on March 3.
The four convicts in the gangrape case — which triggered a massive nationwide outrage in 2012 – have been exploring every legal option one by one to stretch the date of their hanging as much as they can.
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.
Earlier, according to a January 7 order, the convicts were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.
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, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case.