New Delhi: Ruling that the four convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape case —Pawan, Vinay, Akshay and Mukesh — can’t be executed separately, the Delhi High Court asked the convicts to avail all legal remedies, if they wish to, within one week from today. If they fail to do so, the authorities will deal with the situation as per law, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said. The court also noted that the convicts are now engaging in a delaying tactic as fresh appeals are being filed every time date of execution is decided. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: Delhi HC Today to Hear Centre’s Plea Against Stay on Convicts' Execution
The court, however, refused to set aside the trial court order postponing the execution of the death warrant against four convicts. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: 'Justice Hurried is Justice Buried', Convicts' Counsel Told HC; SG Says Rapists 'Acting in Tandem'
The court has also observed that only Mukesh has been sincerely following his remedies. The court also pulled up the authorities for not acting on time, while the death penalty was upheld in May 2017. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: Delhi High Court Verdict Against Stay on Execution of Convicts at 3 PM Today
The Centre and the Delhi government challenged the trial court’s January 31 order which stayed the execution of all the four convicts in the case till further orders. Expressing concern over the delay in execution, the victim’s parents 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.
On January 7, warrants for the execution of all the four convicts in Tihar jail at 7 AM on January 22 were issued. However, the convicts could not be hanged because of pendency of mercy petition by one of them. Later, the trial court fixed February 1, 6 AM as the hanging date and time. But that also could be carried out as the trial court on January 31 again stayed the execution after 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 President Ram Nath Kovind, Pawan has not yet filed it. Akshay’s mercy plea was filed on February 1 and is pending.