In yet another development, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday has moved to the Delhi High Court against Patiala House Court order staying the hanging of Nirbhaya rapists. Earlier in the day, Tihar Jail authorities approached the Delhi High Court, challenging a trial court's order. MHA along with Tihar jail, mentions that the convicts by filing their review, curative and mercy petition, one after the other at such a belated stage, are being permitted to play with law leading to unnecessarily prolonging execution and taking judicial process for a ride.
This development comes amidst the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the Centre's plea seeking ‘victim and society centric’ guidelines to prevent delay in the execution of convicts. The Centre has appealed to the apex court to set guidelines as the process is often misused by the convict to prolong the day of execution. The previous date of execution in the Nirbhaya rape case was on February 1. Meanwhile, Akshay Thakur, one of the convicts has filed a mercy petition on Saturday.
Earlier on Friday, the Patiala House Court deferred the execution of all the 4 convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case until further orders. This development comes a few hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the review plea of Pawan Kumar Gupta, a convict in the Nirbhaya case, against the apex court's verdict on whether he was a juvenile at the time of committing the crime. On Thursday, the curative plea of another Nirbhaya convict Akshay was dismissed by the apex court.
Currently, SC has rejected all convicts review petition while the president has rejected two convicts' mercy plea and has received the third one. The Supreme Court has rejected three convicts' curative petition, while one is yet to file curative petitions. The Jallad (executioner) Pawan Kumar has already reported to Tihar Jail and performed a dummy execution after the Patiala House court set an execution date on January 22 and later extended it to February 1.
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 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 upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017.