AGENCIES, New Delhi: The four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case will not be hanged on Tuesday morning, Delhi judge Dharmendra Rana ruled on Monday. The judge said that a last-minute mercy petition filed by Pawan Gupta — the last of the four to file the plea — is still pending with Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“I am of the opinion that the death sentence cannot be executed pending the disposal of the mercy petition of the convict. It is hereby directed that the execution of death warrants against all the convicts scheduled for 03.03.2020 at 6 am is deferred till further orders,” the judge said in his order.
Reacting to stay on the executions for the third time, the victim’s mother blamed the “failure of the system and the government”.
“This is the failure of the system and the government which has led to the delay of the execution. Till the time the convicts are not hanged, I will not be relieved.” she said.
Earlier on Monday, the judge had rejected Pawan’s request to stop the executions yet again but reserved the order because the convict had petitioned the President to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.
Pawan Gupta’s lawyer A.P. Singh had filed the mercy plea shortly after the Supreme Court dismissed the convict’s curative petition on Monday morning.
The Supreme Court had dismissed curative petitions filed by two other convicts, Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma, on January 14. The curative petition filed by the third convict, Akshay Thakur was dismissed on January 30.
Earlier in the morning, Justice Rana also underlined during the hearing that Pawan Gupta had missed the seven-day deadline that the Delhi high court had set last month for the convicts to avail their legal remedies. The court had first issued the death warrant against the four convicts on January 7, 2020 and scheduled their execution on January 22. The execution date was postponed twice, first to February 1 and then to March 3.