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SC hears SLP filed by Centre, Delhi govt against HC’s order on Nirbhaya convicts’ execution


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[#item_author]Supreme Court of India (File photo)

New Delhi [India], Feb 11 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Centre and Delhi government against the judgment of Delhi High Court in connection with the stay on the execution of convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.
Justice Ashok Bhushan, who is one of the judges in the three-judge bench, observed that if one convict is not filing his legal option, then he can go to the concerned court with his plea seeking fresh death warrant in the case.
Justice Bhushan asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, “Your chart shows three mercy petitions have been rejected. Pawan has not filed. Why don’t you file for a fresh death warrant? You can’t force a convict to file his mercy plea.”
On the other hand, Mehta said that mercy petition is always convict centric. “Mercy petition is always one’s Individual centric,” he added.
Objecting to Justice Bhushan’s observation that convicts may be given further 14 days’ time to file mercy plea, Mehta said, “Now the law is not that we will give further 14 days time. This is not correct.”
The court also made it clear that it also does not want to delay the process of one petition or the other will be filed.
Mehta submitted that even if the death warrant is issued now by the trial court and if Pawan files a mercy petition, the proceedings will be stalled again.
The Solicitor General sought clarification that any further filing of petition by any of the convicts will not be a bar for the execution of death warrant.
“Out of the four convicts, three have already exhausted their legal and constitutional options. They are a ring at tandem, we have failed in our people’s aspirations. People start losing faith in the system,” Mehta said.
Justice Bhushan said, “Only one person has not filed his legal option.” Following this, Mehta stated, “We will wait for him to file his legal applications seeking his legal remedies.”
The Delhi High Court on February 5 granted a week’s time to the four death row convicts in the case to avail all legal remedies available to them and observed that they cannot be hanged separately.
The court also dismissed the petition filed by the Cente and Tihar jail authorities challenging the Patiala House Court’s order which had stayed the execution of the convicts.
A Delhi court had earlier stayed till further orders the execution of the four convicts — Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma — which was earlier scheduled to take place on February 1.
The case pertains to the gang-rape and brutal murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people, including a juvenile, in Delhi. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.
One of the five adults accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail during the trial of the case. (ANI)

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