Delhi High Court was hearing a plea filed by the Centre against the stay in execution of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case (Photo Credit: Composite Image)
The Delhi High Court on Sunday reserved its order on a plea filed by the Centre against the stay in execution of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-and-murder case. Justice Suresh Kait said the court will pass an order after all the parties conclude their arguments. During the arguments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Delhi High Court that there is a deliberate, calculated and well thought of design by the convicts to "frustrate" the mandate of law by getting their execution delayed.
Appearing for the Home Ministry, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stressed the need for a speedy execution to maintain people's belief in the judicial system. Mehta cited last year's alleged police "encounter" in Hyderabad saying that people celebrating the encounter was indicative of depreciation in the country’s judicial system. He said that the people's reaction was not a 'celebration of police but of justice'.
The four accused in the rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian were shot dead by the Telangana Police in December last year when they allegedly tried to escape.
"There cannot be any delay in the interest of the justice, death sentence cannot be delayed. In the interest of the convict, any delay in death sentence will have a dehumanising effect on the accused," he said.
Mehta told Justice Suresh Kait that convict Pawan Gupta's move of not filing a curative or a mercy petition is a deliberate, calculated inaction. The four Nirbhaya case convicts are playing with judicial machinery and trying patience of the nation, Mehta said.
"There is deliberate, calculated and well thought of design to frustrate mandate of law," Solicitor General Mehta told the high court.
Advocate AP Singh appeared for convicts Akshay Singh (31), Vinay Sharma (26) and Pawan gupta (25) opposing the Centre's plea to set aside stay on execution of death sentence.
Senior advocate Rebecca John, representing the fourth convict Mukesh Kumar (32), raised preliminary objection on the Centre's plea saying it was not maintainable. She contended that the Centre was never a party in the case proceedings before the trial court and while the government was accusing the convict of delay, it has woken up just two days ago.
"It was the victim's parents who moved the trial court for issuance of death warrants against the convicts. At no point the central government or the state government approached the trial court to immediately issue death warrants," John contended.
John told the high court that the Centre has moved a plea in the Supreme Court seeking clarification whether co-convicts can be executed separately and this petition is pending before the apex court.
A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons, before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 in Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. The top court, in its 2017 verdict, had upheld the capital punishment awarded to the convicts by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.