Delhi High Court refused to put a stay on the death warrant of Nirbhaya's rapists and rejected the petition filed by one of the convicts, Mukesh Kumar. Justice Manmohan, in a big statement, asserted that the convicts deliberately delayed their death sentence. Further adding that the filed petition is a strategy to 'prolong the matter'
The plea filed by the convict in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case was heard on Wednesday, wherein Mukesh Kumar sought a stay on the death warrant issued by Patiala High Court. Senior Advocate Rebecca John representing Mukesh before Justice Manmohan told the High Court that the notice served to the four convicts mentioned a mercy petition before the President as the only legal remedy available to them and left out the option of a curative petition.
Rejecting the plea, Justice Manmohan said, "The petition filed is a strategy to prolong the matter. The convicts purposely delayed the death sentence by not exhausting their legal remedies." The High Court said that is found no flaw in the death warrants issued by the Additional Sessions Judge of Patiala House court for the hanging of the four rapists on January 22, 7 AM.
The High Court's statement comes even as the state government led by Arvind Kejriwal said that the four rapists will not be held on January 22, citing the mercy petition by Mukesh Kumar. The four convicts- Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) are to be executed on January 22 at 7 AM in Tihar jail.
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. Lucknow ADG Satya Narain Sabat on Thursday, January 9, confirmed hangman Pawan Kumar will be the executor of the culprits in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case for their scheduled execution on January 22.