New Delhi: For the third time in a row, the hanging of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case has been delayed and this time it was till further orders from the court. The development comes as the Patiala House Court on Monday stayed the death sentence of four convicts observing that they cannot be executed as a mercy petition is pending before President Ram Nath Kovind. Also Read - 'Repeated Postponing Shows Failure of System,' Says Nirbhaya's Mother as Convicts' Execution Stayed Yet Again
“As a cumulative effect of the abovesaid discussion, I am of the opinion that the death sentence cannot be executed pending the disposal or the mercy petition of the convict. It is hereby directed that the execution of death warrants against all the convicts, scheduled for March 3, 2020, at 6 AM, is deferred till further orders,” Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said in the order. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: Execution of Four Convicts Delayed Till Further Orders, Says Delhi Court
While hearing the matter, the court observed stated that despite stiff resistance from the victim’s side, the court was of the opinion that any condemned convict must not meet his creator with a grievance in his bosom that the courts of this country have not acted fairly in granting him an opportunity to exhaust his legal remedies. Also Read - Delhi Court Refuses to Stay Nirbhaya Convicts' Execution Tomorrow; Pawan Gupta's Counsel Files Another Mercy Petition
The development comes as the court, earlier in the day, reserved the order on a petition filed by Pawan Gupta seeking a stay on the execution as his mercy petition is pending before President of India.
As per the earlier order from the court, four convicts — Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh – were supposed to be hanged at 6 AM on March 3.
The court had earlier in the day also dismissed a plea of Akshay Singh Thakur seeking a stay on the execution contending that he had filed a mercy petition.
However, President Ram Nath Kovind had on February 5 rejected the mercy petition of convict Akshay Thakur. Till now, the mercy petitions of Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh have also been rejected by President Kovind.
While hearing the matter, the Supreme Court, on the other hand, dismissed a curative petition which was filed by Pawan Gupta seeking the commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.
Expressing absolute displeasure over the delay in the execution of the convicts, victim’s mother Asha Devi on Monday said that the entire justice system supports the criminals.
“Why is the court taking so much time to execute its own order to hang the convicts? Repeated postponing of the execution shows the failure of our system. Our entire system supports criminals,” Asha Devi said soon after the convicts hanging got delayed by the court.
However, Nirbhaya’s father Badrinath Singh said he has not lost hope over the matter. “We are not disappointed. We have not lost hope. Of course, the death warrant has been dismissed multiple times, but we hope that the culprits will be hanged at the earliest,” Singh.