The execution of their death warrants has now been deferred thrice due to delays in exhausting legal remedies. All the convicts in the case were to be hanged together on Tuesday at 6 AM.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said, death sentence cannot be executed pending disposal of mercy petition of convict Pawan Gupta.
“Despite stiff resistance from the victim’s side, I am of the opinion that any condemned convict must not meet his Creator with a grievance that the courts of the country have not acted fairly in granting him an opportunity to exhaust his legal remedies,” the judge said.
“As a cumulative effect of the discussion, I am of the opinion that the death sentence cannot be executed pending the disposal of the mercy petition of the convict. It is hereby directed that the execution of death warrants against all the convicts, scheduled for March 3 at 6 AM, is deferred till further orders,” the judge added.
The court passed the order on Pawan’s plea seeking to stay the execution as he has filed a mercy petition before the President on Monday.
While it was reserving the order on Pawan’s fresh plea to stay the death warrant for Tuesday morning, the court rapped the convict’s lawyer for acting so late in filing the curative and mercy pleas.
Pawan’s curative plea was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier in the day.
The trial court had earlier in the day dismissed Pawan’s and co-accused Akshay Kumar Singh’s applications for staying their death warrants. Nirbhaya’s family was again shattered.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi. She succumbed to her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.