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 (Photo Credit: Composite Image)
The Delhi High Court on Sunday reserved its verdict on the Centre's plea challenging stay on the execution of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. Justice Suresh Kait said it will pass an order after all the parties concluded their arguments. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the high court that there is a "deliberate, calculated and well thought of design" by the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case convicts to "frustrate" mandate of law by getting their execution delayed.
Mehta told Justice Suresh Kait that convict Pawan Gupta's move of not filing a curative or a mercy petition is a deliberate, calculated inaction. The four Nirbhaya case convicts are playing with judicial machinery and trying patience of the nation, Mehta said.
"There is deliberate, calculated and well thought of design to frustrate mandate of law," Solicitor General Mehta told the high court. challenging stay on the execution of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.
Advocate AP Singh appeared for convicts Akshay Singh (31), Vinay Sharma (26) and Pawan gupta (25) opposing the Centre's plea to set aside stay on execution of death sentence.
Senior advocate Rebecca John, representing the fourth convict Mukesh Kumar (32), raised preliminary objection on the Centre's plea saying it was not maintainable. She contended that the Centre was never a party in the case proceedings before the trial court and while the government was accusing the convict of delay, it has woken up just two days ago.
"It was the victim's parents who moved the trial court for issuance of death warrants against the convicts. At no point the central government or the state government approached the trial court to immediately issue death warrants," John contended.
John told the high court that the Centre has moved a plea in the Supreme Court seeking clarification whether co-convicts can be executed separately and this petition is pending before the apex court.
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.
Every convict has certain legal rights. They have the right to appeal their last breath. That is why I am arguing on their behalf. You may agree or not, that is up to you: Rebbeca John
Senior advocate Rebbeca John, appearing for Mukesh Singh, contends trial court order ought to have been challenged in Supreme Court.
The convicts belong to poor, rural and Dalit families. The convicts cannot be made to bear brunt of ambiguity in the law: AP Singh
Advocate AP Singh tried to talk about the suicide of one accused Ram Singh in the case and also questioned the credibility of a witness. However, the Judge did not allow him to raise these issues.
Advocate AP Singh gave refrence of Shatrughan Chauhan ruling which says convicts must be given 14 days to get their last affairs in order. He asked, "Why only in this case there is a hurry? Justice hurried is justice buried."
Advocate AP Singh, the lawyer for convicts Pawan, Akshay and Vinay, is now arguing in front of the Judge. "There is no prescribed time given to execute the death sentence by the Supreme Court and Constitution," he said.
The order by trail court (stay on hanging) passed deserves to be stayed. Every convict is enjoying defeating the judicial system in the country: SG Tushar Mehta
Credibility of the institution and its own power to execute death sentence is at stake. People celebrated after the encounter of rape accused in Telangana. It was not the celebration of the police, it was the celebration of justice: SG Tushar Mehta
Nirbhaya case convicts are playing with judicial machinery and trying patience of nation: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta tells High Court
Mercy jurisdiction is always a personal jurisdiction. The President may show mercy towards a convict because of his circumstances. How will that be applicable to other convicts?: SG Tushar Mehta
The law requires a 14-day notice period to be given to the convicts to take care of their affairs before they are hanged. In this case, on 13th day, a convict will file some plea and then ask for a warrant to be stayed against all. They all are acting in tandem: SG Tushar Mehta
The Delhi High Court on Sunday commenced hearing on Centre's plea challenging stay on the execution of four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The proceedings are currently underway before Justice Suresh Kait. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is advancing arguments for the Centre.