Two Nirbhaya Case Convicts Move Court Seeking Stay on March 3 Execution, Say Mercy and Curative Pleas Pending

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New Delhi: Convicts Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Kumar Gupta on Saturday moved a Delhi court seeking a stay on the execution of death warrants against all four, scheduled for March 3, in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana issued notice to Tihar Jail authorities on the plea of Singh, directing them to file their response by March 2. The four convicts – Mukesh Kumar Singh, Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh – are scheduled to be hanged at 6 AM on March 3.

In his plea moved through his lawyer, Singh claimed that he has filed a fresh mercy petition before the President of India, which is pending. Advocate A P Singh, appearing for Singh, said that his earlier mercy petition that was dismissed by the President did not have complete facts.

He had moved his original mercy petition on February 1 and President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected it on February 5.

Gupta, in his plea, contended that his curative petition is pending in the Supreme Court. Gupta is the last of the four convicts to have filed a curative petition.

The mercy petitions of the three convicts – Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma as well as Akshay Kumar – have previously been dismissed by the President. The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed the pleas filed by Mukesh Kumar Singh and Vinay Kumar Sharma that challenged the rejection of their mercy petitions.

A Delhi court had on February 17 said the convicts will hang on March 3, which was the third death warrant issued by the court. The two earlier ones could not be carried out as the convicts took it in turns to use every legal option available to them.

The four convicts, along with two others – one of them a minor – had gang-raped the young woman and tortured her with an iron rod on the night of December 16, 2012. She died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.

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