The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, February 5, declined to interfere with the Patiala court’s order staying the execution of the Nirbhaya convicts and maintained that death warrants of all the convicts had to be executed at the same time.
BREAKING: Delhi HC rules that all convicts in the Nirbhaya case are bound by a “common order” and cannot be hanged separately. HC gives one week time to the 4 convicts to exhaust their legal remedies.
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The court has also provided 7 days of time to the convict to exercise all the legal remedies at their disposal, following which it has directed the authorities to act in accordance with the law.
Hearing the petition filed by the MHA challenging the stay on execution, the court observed that the 4 convicts cannot be executed separately. However, the court did not agree with the trial court’s assessment that pendency of mercy petition of even one convict is ground to postpone the executions. “Since their fate is decided by the same order up to the Supreme Court, they should be executed together,” the court said.
In his judgement, justice Suresh Kumar Kait also admitted that all the convicts employed delaying tactics to evade the punishment for as long as they could. “I have no hesitation in stating that all the convicts waited, for reasons best known to them, to file their review petitions after more than 150 days. Akshay filed his review after more than 900 days. Convicts have adopted delayed tactics. So I hereby direct all the convicts to exercise their legal remedies within 7 days, after which the court expects the authorities to act pursuant to the law,” the court order said.
Of the four convicts, Mukesh Singh has exhausted all his legal remedies, including mercy petition and the challenge against the rejection of mercy. Another convict Vinay Sharma’s mercy petition was rejected by the President on Saturday. The third convict, Akshay Kumar Thakur filed his mercy petition on Saturday while the fourth convict Pawan Gupta is yet to file a curative petition in SC and a mercy plea to the President.