All 4 convicts to be executed together : HC
New Delhi, Feb 5
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed the Centre’s plea challenging trial Court order which had stayed the execution of all four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case.
Saying that all four convicts have to be executed together and not separately, the HC directed them to file any application they want within a week after which authorities should act. It cannot be disputed that the convicts have frustrated the process by using delaying tactics, the HC said.
The High Court also said that after dismissal of convicts' appeals by SC in May 2017, nobody took steps for issuance of death warrants against them.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait had on February 2 reserved order on the Centre's plea after holding special hearings on Saturday and Sunday.
The Centre and the Delhi Government 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.
The parents of the victim urged the Court to expeditiously decide the Centre's plea and were assured by the Judge that the order would be passed at the earliest.
The trial Court on January 7, had issued black warrants for the execution of all the four convicts in Tihar jail at 7 am on January 22. However, they could not be hanged due to pendency of mercy petition of one of them. Later, on January 17, the trial Court fixed February 1, 6 am as the hanging date and time.
On January 31, the trial Court again stayed the execution as the counsel for three convicts -Pawan, Vinay and Akshay -urged it to adjourn the matter "sine die" saying their legal remedies were yet to be exhausted.
While the mercy pleas of Mukesh and Vinay have been rejected by the President, Pawan has not yet filed it. Akshay's mercy plea was filed on February 1 and is pending. The Centre and Delhi Government approached the High Court on February 1, challenging the trial Court's order staying the execution.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had contended that it was a deliberate and calculated design of the convicts to "frustrate mandate of law" by getting their execution delayed and they were not entitled to any more time.
The counsel for the convicts opposed the plea saying it was not maintainable and that the Centre was never a party in the case proceedings before the trial Court and while the Government was accusing the convict of delay, it has woken up only now. India Today