New Delhi: Hours after the mercy petition of Pawan Gupta, one of the death-row convicts in 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case was rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind, the Delhi government and the Tihar Jail authorities on Wednesday moved the trial court in the national capital and sought a fresh date for the execution of four convicts. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: After Mercy Plea Rejection, Tihar Jail Authorities Seek Fresh Date of Execution For Convicts
After hearing the plea of the Delhi government and the Tihar jail, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana asked the convicts to file their response by Thursday. However, the court said it will hear the matter on Thursday at 2 PM. Also Read - Nirbhaya Gangrape Case: President Rejects Pawan Gupta's Mercy Plea. What is Next?
Filing a plea, the Delhi government told the court that all legal remedies of the convicts in the Nirbhaya case have been exhausted and nothing survives now. Also Read - Nirbhaya Gangrape Case: Go to NHRC, Delhi HC Says Petitioner Amid Delays in Hanging
While issuing the notice top the convicts, the trial court said that principles of natural justice are part of Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution and the sacrosanct principle of “Audi alteram partem” (listen to the other side) cannot be ignored.
The development comes as President Kovind earlier in the day rejected the mercy petition of Pawan Kumar Gupta.
While hearing the matter, the trial court had on Monday deferred till further order the hanging the convicts that was scheduled for Tuesday.
On February 17, the trial court had issued a fresh date, March 3 at 6 AM, for the execution of death warrants for the four convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — in the Nirbhaya case.
However, the execution of their death warrants was deferred thrice in the past due to delays by them in exhausting legal remedies. All the convicts in the case are yet to be hanged together.
Apart from Pawan, President Kovind has already rejected the mercy petitions of Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay.
The whole episode came to limelight after a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was brutally gang-raped and assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16, 2012. She had died after a fortnight in a Singapore hospital.