The Supreme Court, today has allowed the Union Government to seek the trial court for a fresh execution date against the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
The bench comprising of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna was hearing to the Centre’s plea against the Delhi High Court’s judgment which said, the convicts can only be executed together after they have executed all their legal remedies. The court stated that the bench will hear the matter raised by the Centre on merits and has further clarified that the pendency of this SLP will not be an impediment when it comes to approaching the trial court for the execution of the death warrant.
Citing it to be strategic inaction, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the Court, that despite the timeframe of seven days set by the High Court, the fourth convict Pawan had not moved to exhaust his remaining legal remedies. He further stated that even if a fresh date is set by the trial court, and then Pawan Gupta chooses to file his mercy plea or a curative petition, the execution of all four will have to be stayed again, in light of the High Court’s ruling.
“Execution of Nirbhaya case convicts is not for enjoyment, we are executing the mandate of law,” stated Mehta.
Hearing the above contentions, the court has granted liberty to the jail authorities to seek issuance of fresh death warrant from the trial court and has also issued notices to all the four convicts in this regard.
The matter is scheduled for the next hearing on 13 February.