New Delhi: A Delhi court today deferred till further order the hanging of four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. Hanging of the four convicts was scheduled for tomorrow at 6 A.M.
The execution of their death warrants has now been deferred for the third time due to delays in exhausting legal remedies.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said that the death sentence cannot be executed pending disposal of mercy petition of convict Pawan Kumar Gupta.
While reserving the order on Pawan’s fresh plea to stay the death warrant for tomorrow morning, the court rapped the convict’s lawyer for acting so late in filing the curative and mercy pleas. Pawan’s curative plea was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier in the day.
Tihar Jail authorities, during the hearing, said the ball is in the government’s court after the filing of the mercy petition and the judge has no role for now. They said, the President will seek a status report from the jail on Pawan’s mercy plea and when that happens, it will suo motu stay the execution.
The court had on 17th of February ordered that the four convicts Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh be hanged on 3rd of March after it issued fresh death warrants, observing that deferring the execution any further would be sacrilegious to the rights of the victim for expeditious justice.