“In the event records or additional documents have not been received/filed, the matter may be listed before judges concerned in chambers with appropriate office report for directions, instead of listing the matter before the Registrar Court as per the existing practice”, the circular read.
The guidelines come after four convicts— Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case of 2012 adopted several tactics to delay the execution.
The first order for execution of death sentence, issued on January 7 for January 22, was stayed on January 17. The second warrant, issued on January 17, for February 1 was stayed on January 31 ’till further orders’. In both the cases, mercy pleas were pending before the President. On February 5, the High Court told the convicts to exhaust all legal remedies within a week.
Earlier in the day, a three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, dismissed Vinay Sharma’s petition, challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the President. “We don’t see any ground to interfere with the decision of the honourable President,” the bench had said. Following this, both Mukesh and Vinay exhausted all their legal options, inching closer to execution.
(With agency inputs)