A Bench comprising Justices R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan & Navin Sinha, has deferred the Union's plea seeking separate execution of death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case to 5th March 2020.
ASG KM Natraj appeared on behalf of the Home Ministry and asserted that the executions be done separately. However, the Bench considered it appropriate to adjourn the matter.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had sought directions to execute the death row convicts separately after the Delhi High Court on 5th February 2020 had rejected its petition, stating that death warrant of all convicts in the Nirbhaya case should be executed together.
The Delhi High court had noted that,
"Prison rules do not state whether when the mercy petition of one convict is pending, the execution of the other convicts can take place and from the trial court to Supreme Court all convicts have been held by a common order and a common judgment"
While holding so, the High Court had also granted a 7 days to the convicts to avail legal remedies are available to them.
On 7th February, the matter was deferred in light of the subsisting 7-day period and was fixed for final hearing on 14th February.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Saturday dismissed an application filed by Vinay Sharma, one of the four death row convicts, seeking specialised medical treatment for him on account of his mental illness.
A fresh death warrant has also been issued for the four death row convicts - Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Mukesh Singh -- in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case for their hanging at 6 am on March 3.
Last month, the Ministry of Home Affairs had moved the Supreme Court seeking modification(s) in the 2014 guidelines to perpetuate speedy executions of death row convicts by setting fixed timelines.