SC to hear Centre plea on execution of Nirbhaya case convicts separately

New Delhi, February 7: The Supreme Court will on Friday (February 7) hear Centre’s appeal challenging the Delhi High Court verdict dismissing its plea against stay on the execution of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.

The matter will come up for hearing before the 3-judge bench, comprising Justices R Bhanumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, around 12.30 PM.

On behalf of the Centre, Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj had moved the top court seeking an urgent hearing on its appeal challenging the Delhi High Court verdict which held on Wednesday that the Nirbhaya death row convicts have to be executed together and not separately.

The Centre told the top court that Tihar Jail authorities are unable to execute the convicts in the case despite the fact that their review petitions have been dismissed and curative petitions and mercy pleas of three of them have been rejected.

The high court had set a week’s deadline for them to avail the remaining remedies. If the convicts choose not to make any type of petition in seven days from now, the institutions/ authorities concerned will deal with the matter, as per the law, without further delay, it said.

Meanwhile, a trial court on Thursday sought the response of the four convicts on the plea of Tihar jail authorities seeking issuance of fresh death warrants against them.

The trial court had on January 31 stayed “till further orders” execution of the four convicts in the case — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31), who are lodged in Tihar Jail.

Later, the Centre moved the High Court against the stay of the execution of the convicts. Hours after the high court’s verdict, the Centre filed an appeal against it in the apex court.