A court in Delhi on Tuesday sought responses of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 gangrape and murder case after the victim’s parents and the state government sought a fresh date of execution through the issuance of a death warrant, PTI reported.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana issued notices to all the convicts and said the court would hear the matter on Wednesday.
The victim’s parents told the court that the convicts were making a mockery of the law and frustrating it.
On January 31, the court had indefinitely deferred the execution, which was scheduled for 6 am on February 1.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court allowed the Centre to approach the trial court for issuance of death warrants. The top court also issued notice to the four death-row convicts and will hear the matter on Thursday.
A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi said that the pendency of the appeal filed by the Centre and the Delhi government would not be an impediment for the trial court in issuing a fresh date for execution of the convicts.
Solicitor General Tuhar Mehta argued that the execution of the convicts is not for “enjoyment” and that the authorities are only following the mandate of the law.
Meanwhile, Vinay Sharma, one of the four convicts, on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the president. Sharma had filed the petition before on January 29 and was rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind on February 1.
Sharma sought commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment. Only the fourth convict, Pawan Gupta, has not yet filed a petition for presidential pardon.
The convicts’ death warrants were first issued for January 22, and then postponed to February 1 because of the mercy pleas two of them had filed.
The four men were sentenced to death in September 2013 for raping and murdering a paramedical student on the night of December 16, 2012. The assault had sparked countrywide protests. The student died 13 days later at a Singapore hospital.
The death sentence was upheld by the Delhi High Court in March 2014, and by the Supreme Court in May 2017.