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[Breaking] Nirbhaya Case : Delhi Court Rejects Fresh Plea By Convicts To Stay Execution Of Death Sentence

Karan Tripathi
19 March 2020 10:30 AM GMT
[Breaking] Nirbhaya Case : Delhi Court Rejects Fresh Plea By Convicts To Stay Execution Of Death Sentence
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A Delhi Court on Thursday dismissed the plea moved by Nirbhaya case convicts for staying their execution scheduled to take place tomorrow at 5. 30 AM.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana of Patiala House stated that the petition was "bereft of merits".

"No valid ground has been brought to my notice to justify the stay of execution of death warrants", the Court said.

Referring to the SC judgment in the 2015 Yakub Memon case, the Court said that pendency of any subsequent mercy plea was not a ground to suspend death.

The plea was moved on the ground that the second mercy petition filed by convict Akshay Singh was pending before the President.

Advocate A P Singh, who appeared for the convicts, submitted that a plea has also been made to the International Court of Justice for intervention in execution. A petition has been filed before the Election Commission of India in respect of alleged politicization of the case .

With respect to the argument that convict Pawan is yet to submit mercy plea, the Court observed that the Delhi High Court had ordered on February 5 that the convicts must exhaust their legal remedies within 7 days.

"The condemned convict cannot be permitted to frustrate the course of law by simply opting to remain indolent...

Condemned convict Pawan, in stark defiance of the directions of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court, has opted not to exhaust his legal remedies. One who seeks protection of law first needs to learn to respect it. Therefore, I do not find any plausible reasons to suspend the execution of death sentence simply because convict Pawan has opted not to exercise his legal remedy", ASJ Dharmender Rana said in the order.

Further, AP Singh had also cited the coronavirus pandemic and the security measures taken by various states to curb the same as a ground to argue that the situation is not cohesive to execute the convicts.

While holding that the words appeal/application in Rule 834 of Delhi Prison Rules, 2018, only refers to statutory appeals or special leave to appeal, the court noted that:

'the word appeal or application cannot be exclusively interpreted to include any other petition pending before any authority including the Supreme Court. Any other interpretation would render the execution of death sentence impossible as any death row convict would mischievously continue moving applications/representations before innumerable authorities simply to stall the execution of death sentence.'

Therefore, the court held that the pending petitions are not an impediment for the execution of the death sentence.

Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed submitted that the applications moved by Singh are not maintainable in law.

"AP Singh can move hundred applications, but these applications are not strictly legal remedies that can impede the execution of the death warrant", the Prosecutor submitted.

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