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Nirbhaya case: Supreme Court defers hearing of Centre’s appeal to March 5

Delhi gang rape case convicts (clockwise from top left): Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Vinay and Pawan Gupta whose death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in New Delhi on Friday.

Delhi gang rape case convicts (clockwise from top left): Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Vinay and Pawan Gupta whose death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in New Delhi on Friday.  

Apex court to wait for unfolding of events pertaining to legal and administrative remedies for convicts

The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred to March 5 the hearing of an appeal filed by the Centre for permission to separately execute the death sentence of the four Nirbhaya case convicts.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice R. Banumathi was informed at the beginning of the session that the trial court had fixed the execution of the four convicts for March 3 at 6 a.m.

The court decided to watch the unfolding of events over the next few days rather than start hearing arguments on the legality of executing convicts separately before the legal and administrative remedies available to their co-convicts are exhausted. If the four convicts are indeed executed on March 3, the appeal would become infructuous on March 5, the court reasoned.

Except for Pawan Gupta, the other three Nirbhaya convicts — Vinay, Mukesh and Akshay — seem to have come to the road’s end of legal and administrative remedies available to them.

Pawan is yet to file a curative petition in the Supreme Court. He has also not filed a plea for clemency with the President.

On February 17, the apex court had asked the government to approach the trial court for issuance of a fresh date for the execution of the death sentence of the convicts. This order was given by the apex court shortly after it dismissed a plea by Vinay challenging the President’s rejection of his mercy petition.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has been highlighting how the convicts were trying the patience of the nation.

Mr. Mehta made a reference to how policemen who gunned down four gangrape and murder accused in Hyderabad were cheered by the public, calling the incident a symptom of people losing faith in the process of law.

“This case [Nirbhaya] is of 2012 and I am still struggling to execute the death sentence. They [convicts] are acting in tandem to misuse the law by filing one petition after the other… People will stop having faith in the judicial system. Seven years have gone by and the convicts are still playing [with] the judicial system… It is in situations like this that people celebrate encounter killings,” Mr. Mehta submitted on February 17.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 3:08:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nirbhaya-case-supreme-court-defers-hearing-of-centres-appeal-to-march-5/article30911809.ece

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