The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear a petition filed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs seeking direction to execute the death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case separately. The petition will be heard by a three-judge bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi and comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Navin Sinha.
The Centre moved the apex court after the Delhi High Court rejected its petition. The Delhi High Court, on February 5, said that the death warrant of all convicts in the Nirbhaya case should be executed together.
Delhi High Court had observed that Delhi prison rules do not state whether when the mercy petition of one convict is pending, the execution of the other convicts can take place as from the trial court to Supreme Court all convicts have been held by a common order and a common judgment.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Saturday dismissed an application filed by Vinay Sharma, one of the four death row convicts in Nirbhaya case, seeking specialised medical treatment for his claimed "grievous head injury, fracture in his right arm, insanity, mental illness, and schizophrenia".
A fresh death warrant has been issued for the four death row convicts -- Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Mukesh Singh -- in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case for their hanging at 6 am on March 3. This is the third time that the court has issued death warrants against the four convicts in the last two months.
A 23-year-old paramedic student 'Nirbhaya' was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to her injuries a few days later.
Out of the six convicts, one reportedly committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court had upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017.
Nirbhaya Rape Case: Supreme Court to hear Centre's plea for separate executions of convicts