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Dec 16 rape case: SC allows Centre, Delhi govt to seek fresh execution dates

On February 5, the High Court gave the convicts one week's time to exhaust their legal remedies and also rejected the government's prayer to allow them to be executed separately.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2020 2:03:53 am
The bench, which also comprised Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A S Bopanna, was not initially inclined to issue notice. (File)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Centre and Delhi government to seek fresh dates for the execution of the December 16, 2012 gangrape-murder case convicts from the trial court.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi also issued notice to the four convicts — Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh — on the Centre’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict upholding the stay on their execution. On February 5, the High Court gave the convicts one week’s time to exhaust their legal remedies and also rejected the government’s prayer to allow them to be executed separately.

The bench, which also comprised Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A S Bopanna, was not initially inclined to issue notice. Justice Bhushan remarked that if the court starts hearing the matter, it cannot be decided quickly and may end up further delaying the execution.

However, Justice Bhushan told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, “We will keep it pending with liberty for you to approach the trial court to seek a fresh date”, In a related development, convict Vinay Tuesday approached the SC against the rejection of his mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind. He claimed he suffered “brutal forms of physical and mental torture” .

After the SC proceeding, the parents of the victim in the case and the Delhi government Tuesday approached a Delhi court, seeking issuance of fresh death warrants against the four death-row convicts. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana issued notice to convicts and said it will take up the matter on Wednesday. The victim’s parents told the court the convicts were making a mockery of the law and frustrating it.

Tihar Jail authorities also filed a status report before the court, stating that no legal option was preferred by any of the convicts in last seven-day-period, granted by the High Court.

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