Nirbhaya Case: Sessions Judge directs Tihar authorities to submit a detailed report in steps taken post-filing of Mukesh’s mercy plea

On Thursday Justice Satish Arora sessions judge at Patiala House court asked Tihar admiration authorities to submit a comprehensive report mentioning the procedure they followed after mercy plea was filed by one of the convicts.

The court wanted intimation from the authorities about the procedure followed under rule 840 read along with rule 863 according to Delhi prison rules.

Rule 840: the superintendent of the jail has to forward to the government, the plea petition by a prisoner awaiting a death sentence, stating that pending a reply the sentence will not be carried out.

Rule 863: the trial court shall fix the date of execution of the prisoner sentenced to death if his mercy petition is rejected.

These directions came in response to the application filed by advocate Vrinda Grover wanting a stay on the execution date of   22nd January 2020, at 7 AM; contending that this scheduled date has become nonexecutable as a mercy petition has been filed by petitioner Mukesh, which is pending before lieutenant governor of Delhi and the President of India.

The landmark judgment of Shatrughan Chauhan &anr vs Union of India, stressed upon the death sentence passed lawfully should ensure that the procedure till the execution of the sentence be in consonance with the constitutional mandate and not in violation of the constitutional principles, one such principle states that without being given a minimum notice of 14 days that the mercy plea has been rejected, petitioner cannot be executed. This precedent was put forward by advocate Grover in her argument and argument read with rules 840 and 863 of Delhi prison rules it made it clear that petitioner can’t be executed on 22nd January.

Justice Arora was dissatisfied by the fact that in order to inform the court about the subsequent developments in legal redressal of a death row convict authorities waiting for an application to be filed, going contrary to high court’s intention as when allowed the petitioner to go to sessions court,  high court wanted the session court to be informed about all the subsequent steps.

The court further directed the Tihar jail authorities to submit a complete report on the procedure followed by them under rule 840 read with 863, of the Delhi prison rules, 2018.