High Court (India)

February 05, 2020

Nirbhaya convicts should be hanged together: Delhi HC

[ by Kavita Krishnan ]


The Delhi High Court on February 5, 2020 said that the four convicts in Nirbhaya rape and murder case should be hanged together and gave a weeks’ time to them to avail their legal remedies.

“The death warrants should be executed together. Thus, convict Mukesh cannot be separated from the other convicts. I hereby direct the convicts to use their remedies within one week,” Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said while pronouncing the order.

The order was passed on a petition filed by the Central government challenging a Sessions court’s order which stayed the death warrants issued against the four convicts who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.

Justice Suresh Kait who was hearing the case said that, “Delhi Prison Rules do not say that if mercy petition of one convict is pending, the execution of the other convicts can take place”.

“Since upto the Supreme Court, their fate has been decided by a common judgment, I am of the opinion that death warrant of all convicts should be executed together and not separately,” the court added.

The hanging of Vinay, Pawan, Akshay and Mukesh, originally scheduled for 7 a.m. January 22, was postponed to February 1 at 6 a.m. but was deferred again on January 31 after Mukesh filed an application before a Delhi court contending that other convicts are yet to avail the legal remedies and cannot be hanged separately.

The stay imposed by the trial court was challenged by the Centre the next day.

Mukesh and Vinay have exhausted their legal remedies. However, a decision on Akshay’s mercy plea is pending before the President. Pawan has yet not availed of the remedy of curative and mercy petition, which will be last judicial and constitutional resort for him.

According to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, this 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 23-year-old victim, later named Nirbhaya, was brutally gang-raped and tortured by the four accused. She succumbed to her injuries a few days later in 2013.

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