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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 19 February 2020 6.48 AM IST

Convicts in Nirbhaya case cannot be hanged separately: Delhi HC

nirbhaya-case

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Wednesday said all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case have to be executed together, not separately, and dismissed the Centre's plea against the trial court's order staying the execution of their death sentence.

The high court also faulted the authorities concerned for not taking steps for issuance of death warrant after the rejection of appeals of the accused by the Supreme Court in 2017.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait directed the convicts to exhaust within seven days all the remedies available to them after which the authorities should act as per law.


The high court however said: "It cannot be disputed that the convicts have frustrated the process by using delaying tactics."

The Centre and the Delhi government had challenged the trial court's January 31 order staying "till further orders" the execution of all the four convicts in the case -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31), who are lodged in Tihar Jail.

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

"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.

"I'm glad that the High Court has set a time limit for the process. The convicts have been delaying it, now it has to done within a week," Nirbhaya's mother told reporters.

Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh Singh and Akshay Singh - convicted for the shocking gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student dubbed Nirbhaya by the media in Delhi in 2012 - were to be executed on February 1.

But the trial court postponed the execution indefinitely after a second convict, Vinay Sharma, filed a mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind. As his appeal was turned down, another convict, Akshay Singh, filed his mercy plea.

The Centre contended that the convicts were working in tandem, using every possible loophole to delay the execution.

"The accused are trying the patience of the nation. Such delays will shake the faith of people in the administration of justice," Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, asking that the execution of the two convicts who exhausted all the legal options be carried out.

The four convicts, along with two others -- one of them a minor -- had attacked the gang-raped the young woman and tortured her with an iron rod in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. After fighting for life for 13 days, she died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore. The brutality of the attack had outraged the nation bringing thousands on the streets in protest.

One of the assailants, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after spending three years in a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.

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TAGS: CONVICTS IN NIRBHAYA CASE, DELHI HC VERDICT OVER NIRBHAYA CASECONVICTS, HANGING OF NIRBHAYA CASE CONVICTS
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