The convicts were to be hanged on Saturday, February 1 (Photo Credit: Composite Image)
Delhi High Court will hold a special Sunday hearing on the plea challenging a trial court order staying the execution of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. Delhi High Court on Saturday issued notice to Tihar jail authorities and the convicts. A trial court on Friday had stayed the execution of the four convicts - Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta - till further order. The convicts were to be hanged on Saturday.
Tihar Jail authorities approached the Delhi High Court on Saturday, challenging the trial court's order. Arguing before Chief Justice DN Patel, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that convicts in the case have taken process of law to "joyride". They are acting in tandem to delay execution, Mehta said.
"Yesterday an application was filed to postpone the death sentence. None of the reasons mentioned in the application can go through judicial scrutiny. This case will go down in history as one of the heinous offences where the accused have abused the process of law," Tushar Mehta told the Delhi High Court.
The convicts were ordered to be hanged on February 1 at 6 am but a Delhi court postponed their execution indefinitely. With Advocate A P Singh, the counsel for Pawan, Vinay and Akshay contending that their legal remedies were yet to be exhausted, the hanging date remains uncertain.
As of now, Mukesh has exhausted all his legal remedies including the clemency plea which was dismissed by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 17 and the appeal against the rejection was thrown out by the Supreme Court on January 29. The curative petitions of Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay have been rejected by the apex court. On Saturday, the President rejected the mercy plea of Vinay. Akshay has also filed a mercy plea before the President, the Tihar Jail officials said.
Convicts have the option of moving a mercy petition before the President only after the apex court dismisses their curative plea. A curative petition is the last legal remedy available to a convict.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern who came to be known as "Nirbhaya" (the fearless one) was gangraped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.