The Delhi government moved a court here on Wednesday seeking fresh date for the execution of four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, saying their all legal remedies are exhausted.
The government swung into action hours after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four convicts facing the gallows in the case.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana issued notice to the convicts and directed them to file their response by tomorrow.
The Delhi government told the court that all legal remedies of the convicts have been exhausted and nothing survives now.
The lawyer for the prosecution also said no notice was required.
While issuing the notice, the court said that “principles of natural justice are part of Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution and the sacrosanct principle of ‘audi alteram partem’ (listen to the other side) cannot be ignored”.
The court had on Monday deferred till further order the hanging the convicts that was scheduled for Tuesday.
The trial court had on February 17 issued a fresh date, March 3 at 6 am, for the execution of death warrants for the four convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — in the case.
The execution of their death warrants has been deferred thrice so far due to delays by them in exhausting legal remedies. All the convicts in the case are to be hanged together.
The President has already rejected the mercy petitions of Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as ‘Nirbhaya’ (fearless), was gang raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16, 2012. She had died after a fortnight.
Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case.
The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.