The court on March 2, deferred the hanging of the convicts in the Nirbhaya case till further order, pending disposal of convict Pawan Gupta’s mercy plea, stating that it was an important constitutional legal principle.
The execution was scheduled to be carried out today at 6 am. This is now for the third time the execution of the death warrants, in this case, has been deferred due to delays in exhausting legal remedies available to the convicts.
Dharmender Rana, the Additional Sessions Judge held that the death sentence cannot be carried out pending disposal of the mercy plea filed by convict Pawan Gupta.
“Despite stiff resistance from the victim’s side, I am of the opinion that any condemned convict must not meet his Creator with a grievance in his bosom that the courts of the country have not acted fairly in granting him an opportunity to exhaust his legal remedies,” said the judge.
The court, while reserving the order on Pawan’s fresh plea to stay the execution of his death warrant, also rapped the convict’s lawyer for causing delay in filing the curative and mercy pleas.
Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh, for weeks, have been filing petitions challenging their death sentence in order to somehow stall the execution.
The Supreme Court had rejected Pawan’s curative petition earlier in the day.
Applications filed by Convicts Pawan Gupta and Akshay Kumar to stay their death warrants were also dismissed earlier in the day, by the trial court.
The officials on Monday confirmed that the mercy petition filed by Pawan Gupta has been received by the Union home ministry. The petition will be soon forwarded by the ministry to the President of India, for his consideration and decision in the matter.