A Delhi court on Friday stayed the hanging of the four men on death row for the December 2012 gangrape and murder of Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student.
ASJ Dhramendra Rana at the Patiala Court House in Delhi was hearing the plea seeking a stay on handing of Pawan Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh Thakur. Their advocate AP Singh had asked the court to adjourn the executions sine die i.e. with no appointed date for resuming the matter, as Vinay’s mercy plea against the death warrant was pending before the President.
AP Singh also argued in Patiala Court House on Friday that while Akshay’s curative petition was rejected by the Supreme Court on Thursday, and that he was awaiting the court’s order to file a mercy plea before the President. He said that the convicts cannot be hanged until the mercy plea is also rejected, and so the execution cannot take place as scheduled tomorrow.
Earlier too AP Singh had argued that the execution should be stayed because the legal remedies available had not be utilized by all of the four convicts yet.
Further, advocate Vrinda Grover who is representing the fourth convict Mukesh Singh, also said that even if one of the convicts’ mercy plea was pending, the execution of the three others would have be delayed as they cannot be hanged separately given the sentence and the death warrant are common to all of them them.
“Death Penalty is an irreversible process. It would be a travesty of justice if convicts are segregated in terms of sentence for the very same offence,” Vrinda told the court, LiveLaw reports.
Meanwhile, the victim’s lawyer argued that these were delaying tactics by the convicts’ counsel.
The judge reserved the order in the matter, and around 5.30 pm said that the execution was stayed till further orders.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had allowed the executions to happen on January 22, 2020. This was postponed to February 1 given the curative petitions and mercy pleas filed by the convicts’ lawyers.