New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday stayed till further orders the execution of the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder convicts, which was earlier scheduled to take place on February 1.
Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana had reserved the order in the matter earlier today.
Advocate AP Singh, appearing on behalf of the convicts, submitted that some legal remedies are still available for the convicts adding that Mukesh has been sincerely pursuing all legal remedies without delay.
On the other hand, Ahmad argued that the application moved by Vinay and Akshay is non-maintainable as per the Delhi Prison Rules but said that the execution of Vinay can be postponed.
Recently, Vinay Sharma had filed a mercy petition in the matter.
Advocate Seema Kushwaha, representing the victim’s side, said that the convicts herein are adopting delay tactics to thwart the speed of justice.
SC dismisses plea in juvenility claim
In another development, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the petition of death row convicts in Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, Pawan Gupta, challenging its earlier order which dismissed his juvenile plea.
The apex court had, on January 20, rejected Gupta’s petition challenging a Delhi High Court order, which dismissed his claim of being a juvenile at the time of the offence.
Gupta had approached the top court challenging its earlier order.
Pawan had claimed that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime and that the Delhi High Court had ignored this fact.
Earlier today in the Delhi court, Tihar jail authorities filed a status report in the matter and informed the court that the convicts can be hanged separately adding that convict Mukesh Singh has exhausted all the legal remedies available to him.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana is hearing the convicts’ plea seeking a stay on the execution, which is scheduled for February 1.
Public prosecutor Irfan Ahmad, representing Tihar Jail authorities, submitted a status report in the matter and said that the convicts in the matter can be hanged separately and that there is no illegality in it.
Ahmad said that the mercy petition of convict Vinay Sharma is pending, adding that the other three convicts have no pending plea in any legal forum and can be hanged on the scheduled execution date.
Advocate AP Singh, appearing on behalf of the convicts, sought sine die adjournment and stated that some legal remedies are still available for the convicts.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing as Amicus Curiae for convict Mukesh, pressed for a stay on the execution saying: “There cannot be a severance of execution order. The death penalty is an irreversible process. It would be a travesty of justice if convicts are segregated in terms of sentence for the very same offence.”
An “amicus curiae” is someone who is not a party to a case and assists a court by offering information, expertise or insight into matters that have a bearing on the issues of the case.
Yesterday, a Patiala House court had issued a notice to Tihar jail authorities seeking its response on the petition filed by the convicts in Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case seeking a stay on the execution.
Four convicts in the matter — Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Kumar Sharma — are scheduled to be hanged on February 1.
Recently, Vinay Sharma has filed a mercy petition in the matter.
Earlier, mercy petition of convict Mukesh was rejected by the President. He later challenged the rejection of his mercy petition in the Supreme Court but to no avail.
The case pertains to the gang-rape and brutalising of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.
One of the five adults accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail during the trial of the case.