Nirbhaya case: MHA moves HC challenging stay on death warrants

New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) along with Tihar Jail authorities on Saturday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the trial court order putting a stay on the death warrants issued against the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

The MHA plea states that the said four convicts by filing their respective review petition or curative or mercy petition one after the other and that too at such a belated stage, that is after the issuance of the death warrants, are in fact being permitted to play with the majesty of law leading to unnecessarily prolonging the execution and thereby taking the judicial process for a ride.

“Convicts have deliberately chosen to file their review/curative/mercy petition at a much belated stage beyond the statutory period available to them with the sole objective to delay the execution of the death warrants,” the plea said.

A single judge bench of Justice Suresh Kumar will hear the matter later on Saturday.

A Delhi court had on Friday stayed for an indefinite period, the death warrants issued against the four death row convicts – Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and Vinay.

Additional Sessions Judge Darmendra Rana in his order had said, “Without commenting upon the dilatory tactics adopted by the convicts, suffice it would be to state that seeking redressal of one’s grievances through procedure established by law was the hallmark of any civilised society. The courts of this country cannot afford to adversely discriminate any convict, including death row convicts in pursuit of his legal remedies, by turning a Nelson’s eye towards him.”

A 23-year-old woman was brutally gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, which later 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 committed suicide in Tihar Jail.

Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017 which also dismissed their review petition in July 2018.


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