Delhi Court refuses stay on hanging of Nirbhaya convicts

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday dismissed an application seeking stay on execution of death-row convicts in Nirbhaya rape and murder case.

The four convicts –Akshay Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Mukesh Kumar — are scheduled to be hanged at 6 a.m. on March 3.

After the pronouncement of order, counsel for convicts, A.P. Singh apprised Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana that Pawan has filed a mercy petition on Monday.

The court will consider the fresh mercy petition at 2 p.m. 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.

Nirbhaya’s mother expressed happiness over 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 convict 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, advocate A.P. 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 case pertains to the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl, called later as Nirbhaya, in the national capital in December 2012. Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused.

Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case. The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.

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