The Delhi government on Wednesday (January 15) told the high court that execution of the death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case will not take place on January 22 as a mercy plea has been filed by one of them.
The four convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) — are to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail. A Delhi court had issued their death warrants on January 7.
Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal were told by the Delhi government and the Centre that the petition filed by convict Mukesh, challenging his death warrant, was premature.
The Delhi government and the prison authorities informed the court that under the rules, it will have to wait for the mercy plea to be decided before executing the death warrant.
They also said that none of the four convicts can be executed on January 22 unless the present mercy plea is decided.
The hearing, which has been going on since morning, will continue post-lunch.
The mercy plea filed by Mukesh Kumar’s advocate, Vrinda Grover, also sought that her client be given a 14-day notice if the mercy petition is rejected by the President so that he can mentally prepare himself.
Meanwhile, Rekha Sharma, chief of the National Commission for Women (NCW) condemned the Delhi government’s “delaying tactics” in the execution of the Nirbhaya case convicts and urged the authorities to hang them on January 22, as ordered by a local court early this month.
“These are delaying tactics and I really condemn it. They should be hanged on the date given by the court, which is January 22. Why has the Delhi government suddenly woken up in the matter,” the NCW chief said.
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday dismissed the curative pleas of Mukesh and Vinay.