Justice for Nirbhaya: Delhi court halts the execution for the third time!

The Delhi court has on Monday issued directive to halt the execution of four convicts of Nirbhaya case for the third time and the fresh order has come exactly one day before the scheduled date of execution. 

On Monday, one of the convicts Pawan Kumar has moved his mercy petition to the President as his last resort of having relief and to hold more breaths. However, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected his mercy plea through which the convicts had exhausted all the legal remedies they had in their accounts. Initially, the Delhi court had issued a death warrant against the four on January 22nd following which the convicts had started the legal battles of filing review and curative petitions in the Supreme court seeking to stay the death penalty amid taking steps towards the gallows.

The convicts had queued up and moved their mercy petitions before the President. A few days before the first scheduled date of execution, one of the convicts Mukesh Singh had filed the mercy petition. However, his petition was rejected by the President. As per the Act, a convict must be given 14 days between the date of the rejection of the mercy plea and the date of execution and with accord to that, the counsel of the convicts moved to the Delhi court to stay the death warrant issued on Jan 22nd. The Delhi court had postponed the execution to February 1st, 2020.

         The four convicts of Nirbhaya case - File photo


In a similar way, the other convict has moved his mercy plea a few days before February 1st before the President and postponed the death penalty. The Delhi court had halted the execution for the second time and issued a fresh death warrant against the convicts and directed the Tihar prison authorities to execute them on March 3rd, 2020. However, Pawan Kumar Gupta took his turn and moved the curative petition before the Supreme court and sought commutation of his death penalty to life imprisonment. The Apex court had rejected his curative petition by stating that it found nothing wrong in the orders of the death penalty and this rejection from the Apex court had dotted up the legal remedies of all the four convicts.

After having his plea rejected, Pawan Gupta approached the President with his last resort of mercy petition on Monday. He also tabled his plea before Delhi's Patiala court to stay his execution by stating that his mercy plea was pending before the President and the court had slammed AP Singh, the lawyer of Pawan Gupta for making delay in filing curative and mercy pleas. Hours later, President Ram Nath Kovind had dismissed his mercy plea. However, the Delhi court has stayed the execution of the four convicts until further orders as the convict must be given 14 days of time between the date of rejecting the mercy plea to the date of execution and the convicts can't be executed if one of them has been given with the extension.

Asha Devi, the mother of Nirbhaya, addressing the reporters after the Delhi court had halted the execution for the third time - March 2, 2020 - ANI Photo


Through the latest directive, the Delhi court has halted the execution for the third time. The reports say that the rejection of Pawan Kumar's mercy plea has exhausted all the legal remedies of the convicts and they would be executed in the date which will be issued by the Delhi court in its next death warrant. While addressing the reporters, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi said that the current system supports criminals and asked the court why it has been taking so much time to execute its own order to execute the convicts and stated that the repeated postponing of the execution shows the failure of the system.