Taking note of the 'fresh developments' in the Nirbhaya case following the dismissal of the review petition of a death row convict in the Nirbhaya case, a Delhi Court on Wednesday directed the authorities of Tihar jail to serve fresh notice to the four convicts for executing death penalty.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora of Patiala House Courts said that death warrant cannot be issued on the basis of the earlier notice served by the authorities in October.
The Supreme Court today dismissed the review petition of Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case. The review pleas of the other three convicts - Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh -were dismissed way back in July 2018 itself.
In December 2018, Nirbhaya's parents had moved the Patiala House Court to expedite the procedure of executing the death penalty given to all 4 convicts in the gangrape case of December 16, 2012.
In October this year, the Superintendent at Tihar prison had issued a notice to all the 4 convicts to file their mercy petition before the President.
During the hearing in the trial court today afternoon, the Public Prosecutor told the Court that pendency of curative petitions or mercy petitions will not prevent the issuance of death warrant.
Disagreeing with this, Advocate Vrinda Grover, who has been appointed as amicus curiae to represent Mukesh Singh, told the Court that death warrant cannot be issued unless the convicts have exhausted all their legal remedies. Grover also pointed out that the Supreme Court has not commented anything on the delay in the review plea of Akshay Kumar Singh.
The remedies of curative petition and mercy petition are available to the convicts, she pointed out.
After the dismissal of the review petition, it is necessary for the jail authorities to issue a fresh notice, Grover submitted.
The Prosecutor told the bench that Akshay and Mukesh had informed that they were not filing mercy petitions.
This was objected to by A P Singh, Akshay's counsel.
Mother of the victim was also present in the Court. She told the judge in tears "wherever we go, we are told about the rights of the convicts. What about our rights".
The judge assured that her rights would be upheld.