NewDelhi: Delhi High Court on Wednesday declined to set aside death warrants issued against four Nirbhaya case convicts whose execution has been fixed for next Wednesday in the Capital's high-security Tihar jail.A bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangeeta Dhingra ruled,"There is nothing wrong with the trial court's order."
Convict Mukesh Singh, the bench held, was free to approach the trial court, which issued the death warrant and inform it about the mercy petition.Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta are on death row for the horrific gang rape of a young medical student in December 2012 who eventually died in a Singapore hospital.
Defence counsel contended that the convicts could not be executed on January 22 unless the mercy plea is decided. The lawyer submitted that execution could not take place on next Wednesday because a mercy plea filed by one of them is pending. Defence argued that even if the mercy plea is rejected, a convict has to be given 14 days notice before execution.
Counsel for Delhi government submitted that the pattern followed by the convicts to file their mercy pleas separately was a strategy to "frustrate the process of law."
Last Tuesday, Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora passed an order for the issuance of death warrants against the four convicts whose execution was set for January 22 at 07:00 am.The Supreme Court had yesterday dismissed the curative pleas filed on behalf of Mukesh and Vinay.(UNI)