07 February 2020
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by Tihar jail authorities seeking issuance of fresh death warrants against the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, observing that it was "bereft of merit".
"The applications are bereft of merit and are dismissed. The state is permitted to file applications as and when required. The matter is disposed of for being premature," Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana observed.
The judge further said that it was "criminally sinful to condemn the convicts when the law permits them to live".
"Admittedly the Delhi High Court has permitted the convicts to exercise their legal remedies within one week of the said order. I concur with the learned Amicus of Mukesh that death warrants cannot be executed on the basis of conjectures," Rana said.
During the course of proceedings on Friday, victim's counsel Jitendra Kumar Jha requested the court to issue fresh death warrants against the convicts, claiming that none of their petitions is pending before the court of law or any other constitutional authority.
"The convicts are resting to tactics to unnecessarily delay the hanging and earn brownie points," said another counsel representing the victim's family.
Vrinda Grover, who represented convict Mukesh, vehemently opposed the contentions and said that the application deserved to be dismissed.
The jail authorities had moved the Patiala House Court on Thursday, a day after President Ram Nath Kovind dismissed the mercy petition of one of the convicts, Akshay.
Besides Akshay, two other convicts, namely Mukesh and Vinay, have exhausted their legal remedies.
The fourth convict, Pawan, has not yet availed the remedy of curative and mercy petitions, which will be the last judicial and constitutional resort for him, respectively.
The case pertains to the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in the national capital in December 2012.
The execution of the four convicts, originally scheduled for January 22, was postponed to February 1. But it was deferred again on January 31 after Mukesh filed an application before a Delhi court contending that other convicts are yet to avail the legal remedies and they cannot be hanged separately.