Nirbhaya, Supreme Court
Nirbhaya, Supreme Court
Litigation News

Nirbhaya Rape: Supreme Court defers hearing on Centre's plea for separate execution of death row convicts to March 5

As per a death warrant issued last week, the four death row convicts are to be executed on March 3 at 6 am.

Bar & Bench

The Supreme Court today deferred till March 5 the hearing in the plea filed by the Central Government for the separate execution of the death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case.

The Delhi High Court on February 5 had held that the four convicts cannot be hanged separately. While holding so, the High Court also granted a period of seven days to the convicts to exercise whatever legal remedies are available to them.

A plea challenging this ruling was moved before the Supreme Court, which initially deferred to hearing in view of the fact that the seven-day period granted by the High Court was yet to lapse.

The matter was eventually fixed for final hearing on February 14. However amidst the dictation of an adjournment order, one of the presiding judges, Justice R Banumathi, fainted in open Court. The matter was pushed further to February 20.

Meanwhile on February 17, an Additional Sessions Court issued fresh death warrant against the four convicts in Nirbhaya gang rape case. As per this warrant, the third to be issued so far, the death row convicts are to be hanged on March 3 at 6 am.

On a related note, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking a modification or a clarification of the Supreme Court's 2014 guidelines regarding the procedure to be followed for the filing of mercy pleas by death row convicts.

By this plea, the MHA has prayed before the Court to set out a stipulated time frame within which such convicts may exercise their right to legal remedies such as curative petition and mercy plea.

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