No Segregated Hanging Of Nirbhaya Convicts: Delhi High Court

President Ram Nath Kovind has till now rejected mercy petitions by convicts Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma

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The Delhi High Court on February 5th, 2020, ruled that there can’t be separate hanging of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. It, however, gave one week to them to pursue their legal remedies, after which the authorities can take necessary action in the matter.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait rejected an application by the Ministry of Home Affairs to allow separate hanging of the two convicts whose mercy petitions have been dismissed by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Also read: Nirbhaya Convicts Trying Patience Of Nation: Centre To Delhi High Court

The court found no ground to set aside a Delhi court’s order of the January 31st, 2020, to adjourn the execution, “till further orders”.

In the judgement, Justice Kait said it was not in dispute that the convicts were held guilty of a “horrible, ghastly, gruesome heinous offence of rape coupled with the bone-chilling murder” of a young girl. But in between the sentence and the execution, the procedure must be “fair, just and reasonable”.

The court noted the convicts were resorting to Article 21 of the Constitution which is available till their last breath of life.

Also read: Nirbhaya Convicts Mum On Last Wishes Ahead Of Hanging

The court, however, did not agree with the view of the trial court the word application was a generic term in the Delhi Prison Rules and it included mercy petition. The High Court interpreted the rules to hold that those do not put any embargo mandating only simultaneous execution.

The court’s order has come on an application by the Ministry of Home Affairs against the validity of January 31st, 2020, order by a Delhi court.

Immediately, after the judgement, the Union, as well as the Delhi government, approached the Supreme Court against it. It is to be seen how the Supreme Court decides the matter.

The President has till now rejected mercy petitions by Convicts Mukesh and Vinay. Akshay’s plea for clemency is pending. Pawan has not filed it as yet.

Photo credit: India TV