On Thursday the Supreme Court agreed to hear on Friday the Centre’s appeal challenging the Delhi High Court’s verdict dismissing its plea against stay on the execution of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
Additional Solicitor General K.M. Natraj, appearing for the Centre, mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench comprising justices N.V. Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari.
The Centre said in its appeal, “The question is whether a convict who has exhausted all his remedies can still frustrate the mandate of law merely because the mercy petition of one of the co-convicts is pending before the President and another co-convict has not even filed the mercy petition.”
The court that 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 rejected stated Mr. Natraj.
The government has argued in the Supreme Court that under the Delhi Prison Rules of 2018 the pendency of legal remedies or mercy petitions of other co-convicts would have no bearing on the fate of a convict whose plea for mercy has already been rejected. The 2018 Rules does not prohibit the execution of death sentence of co-convicts, one by one, on the rejection of their respective mercy petitions, the Centre argued.