Delhi High Court, Nirbhaya
Delhi High Court, Nirbhaya
Litigation News

We are close to the time when your clients can meet God: Delhi HC refuses to stay execution of Nirbhaya convicts hours before hanging

The four convicts are scheduled to be hanged today at 5.30 am.

Bar & Bench

The Delhi High Court today dismissed the petition filed by the death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case seeking to stay the execution of the death warrant against them.

In its order passed close to midnight, the Court opined that the petition was devoid of any merit.

The four convicts are scheduled to be hanged today at 5.30 am.

The matter was heard by a Division Bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula.

 Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula
Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula

During the course of the hearing, the Court repeatedly asked the counsel for the convicts, Advocate AP Singh to raised substantive points.

The Court also pulled up Advocate Singh for the manner in which the petition was prepared i.e. without memo of parties, annexures etc.

It remarked,

"We are close to the time where your client can meet the god. Don't waste time."

Advocate Singh sought some time from the Court to get things in order. He stated that photocopies of the requisite documents could not be taken as the shops were closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Singh submitted that the Trial Court had failed to take into account the various pleas that were pending before different courts in the case. Reiterating the arguments that were made before the Trial Court, Singh further argued that great injustice had been done to the convicts.

Referring to the criminal case against a police personnel for allegedly having hit one other convicts, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Singh urged the Court to stay the execution and allow the convicts to take part in the legal proceedings.

He once again reiterated that Pawan was a juvenile at the time of the incident.

Appearing for the Delhi Government, standing counsel Rahul Mehra asserted that the convicts should move the Supreme Court and stated that all legal remedies available to the convicts had been exhausted.

Mehra also stated that the legal proceedings referred to by the convicts were not relevant for the present case.

He added that no ground for stay was made out from the petition before the High Court.

Earlier today, an Additional Sessions Court had dismissed the applications by three convicts, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan for a stay on the execution of death warrant, on the ground that they were "bereft of merits".

The convicts had sought a stay on the execution of the death warrant, inter alia, on the ground that Pawan and Akshay's second mercy petition was pending.

The contention was, however, rejected by the Trial Court on the ground that under Rule 836 of the Delhi Prison Rules, the execution of a death warrant could not be postponed on the ground of pendency of a subsequent mercy petition.

It was also argued that Pawan was yet to exhaust all his legal remedies. In response, the Trial Court had opined,

"One who seeks protection of law first needs to learn to respect it. Therefore, I do not find any plausible reasons to suspend the execution of death sentence simply because convict Pawan has opted not to exercise his legal remedy."

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