NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday said that all four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case will have to be executed together, not separately.
The HC also gave all four convicts one week to resort to all legal remedies available to them. Post one week, the proceedings against them for the execution of death warrant will be initiated, the HC said.
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.
The trial court on January 7, had issued black warrants for the execution of all the four convicts in Tihar jail at 7am 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, 6am 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, representing them, 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.
Nirbhaya, 23-year-old paramedic student, was raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons, before being thrown out on the road.
She died on December 29, 2012 in Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
(With inputs from agencies)


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