Nirbhaya case: Delhi court rejects Tihar's plea for new execution date

Judge said “It's criminally sinful to execute convicts when law permits them to live”

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A Delhi court on Friday dismissed a plea from the Tihar jail authorities seeking fresh date for execution of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape-and-murder case.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana of the court in the Patiala House Court complex took note of the Delhi High Court's February 5 order permitting the convicts to exercise their legal remedies within one week.

"It is criminally sinful to execute the convicts when law permits them to live. The High Court on February 5 has permitted the convicts, in the interest of justice, to exercise their legal remedies within one week from same order," the court said.

"I concur with counsel for convicts that death warrants cannot be executed merely on basis of surmises and conjectures. The application is bereft of merit. Same is dismissed. State is at liberty to move appropriate application as and when required," the judge said.

The court was hearing the application moved by Tihar jail authorities seeking issuance of fresh death warrants against them.

The trial court had on January 31 stayed "till further orders" execution of the four convicts in the case —Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31)—who are lodged in Tihar Jail.