A Delhi court on Thursday directed the Tihar jail authorities to file the status report by Friday by about the status of scheduled execution of convicts in the 2012 gang-rape and murder case. of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape-murder case.
The Tis Hazari court judge said, “I am not reviewing my order to pass a death warrant. There will be a stay on the execution of the death warrant since a mercy plea is there. Jail authorities just have to give me this report saying we will not hang them on January 22.”
“The application was filed seeking setting aside of the order of execution warrants.” said advocate Vrinda Grover while reading the application.
“No emotion can overtake the law of the land. The Right to seek mercy is a constitutional right and not at the whims of the executive” she added.
The Delhi government had earlier rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh. The mercy plea was then sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs via Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who accepted the recommendation of the Delhi government.
The convicts, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta, were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.
The Delhi High Court yesterday refused to entertain a petition by Mukesh Kumar, one of the four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya case, challenging a sessions court order fixing the date of his hanging in Tihar jail on January 22, 2020. But the city government said he could not be executed since his mercy plea is pending.
Under the Constitution of India (Article 72), the President of India can grant a pardon or reduce the sentence of a convicted person, particularly in cases involving capital punishment.
Lawyer Seema Kushwaha, appearing for Nirbhaya’s parents argued that the mercy petition is not pending before the President of India. “It has only been filed. We don’t know if it has been sent to the President yet,” she said and added that the hanging cannot be stayed over this petition.