Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmad had requested the Patiala House court to issue a fresh date of execution (Photo Credit: Composite Image)
A Delhi court on Friday refused to issue fresh date of execution and new death warrants for the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-and-murder case. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana took note of the Delhi High Court's February 5 order permitting the convicts to exercise their legal remedies within one week. The plea was filed by Tihar jail authorities seeking a fresh date of execution of convicts.
In its order, the Patiala House Court noted Delhi High Court's February 5 order permitting the four death row convicts to exercise their legal remedies within a week. "It is criminally sinful to execute the convicts when law permits them to live," it observed.
The court dismissed the application saying it was 'bereft of merit and dismissed'. "Death warrants cannot be executed merely on the basis of surmises and conjectures," it added.
The trial court had on January 31 stayed "till further orders" execution of 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. The date of execution, first fixed for January 22 in Tihar jail, was later postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order.
Earlier, public prosecutor Irfan Ahmad had requested the Patiala House court to issue a fresh date of execution. He told the court that three mercy petitions have been dismissed till now and no application of any convicts is pending in any court. He, therefore, asked court to issue a fresh death warrant.
In the application, the authorities said the President has already dismissed the mercy petitions of three convicts and that no application by any of the four is currently pending before any court. Pawan has not yet filed a curative petition -- the last and final legal remedy available to a person which is decided in-chamber. Pawan also has the option of filing a mercy plea.
The authorities had also informed the court about Delhi High Court's February 5 order which directed the convicts to take steps within a week, if they wished, to avail any remedy available under the law.
A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons, before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 in Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital. One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. The top court, in its 2017 verdict, had upheld the capital punishment awarded to the convicts by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.