The HC dismissed the govt’ plea challenging the court’s order staying the execution of the convicts and rejected its request to hang the 4 convicts separately.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday passed its order on a plea filed by the Home Ministry and Tihar Jail authorities on February 1 challenging the Patiala House court order, which stayed the execution of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case. Delhi High Court said that the convicts in the Nirbhaya case will be allowed a week to exercise their legal remedies, following which the trial court will begin proceedings for their execution.
The high court dismissed the Centre’s plea challenging the trial court’s order staying the execution of the convicts and rejected Centre’s request to hang the four convicts separately and said that the rapists will have to be executed together. The High Court said that after the dismissal of convicts’ appeals by the Supreme Court in May 2017, nobody took steps for issuance of death warrants against them
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait directed convicts to file any application which they want within one week after which authorities should act. The Centre and the Delhi government had challenged the trial court’s January 31 order staying “till further orders” the execution of all the four convicts in the case — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31), who are lodged in Tihar Jail.
High Court said, “Delhi Prison Rules do not say that if mercy petition of one convict is pending, the execution of the other convicts can take place.” The Judge further added, “It cannot be disputed that the convicts have frustrated the process by using delaying tactics. But it is relevant to consider if the delay in execution of death sentence is attributable to the legal resorts taken by the convicts.” “Since up to the Supreme Court their fate has been decided by a common judgment, I am of the opinion that death warrant of all convicts should be executed together and not separately,” the High Court verdict added.
Earlier on Friday, the Patiala House Court deferred the execution of all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case until further orders. This development comes a few hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the review plea of Pawan Kumar Gupta, a convict in the Nirbhaya case, against the apex court’s verdict on whether he was a juvenile at the time of committing the crime. On Thursday, the curative plea of another Nirbhaya convict Akshay was dismissed by the apex court.
A 23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six convicts, one reportedly committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court’s verdict in 2017