Nirbhaya case: the center cites the case of rape and murder of gangs of Hyderabad veterans and tells HC convicts 'they have no right' any longer
NEW DELHI: On Sunday he told the Delhi High Court that the four sentenced to death on death row are not entitled to any more time, as he cited the gangrape 2019 and the murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian in which the four Defendants were killed by the police in an alleged meeting and claimed that the credibility of the judiciary and its own power to execute the death sentence are at stake.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta, representing the Center and the government of Delhi, who have sought to set aside a court order that suspended the execution of those convicted in the Nirbhaya murder case in 2012, said there is a deliberate design, calculated and well thought out to thwart the mandate of the law by convicts who were testing the patience of the nation.
Judge Suresh Kait reserved the order in the joint declaration of the Center and the government of Delhi after a three-hour hearing, during which the main lawyer Rebecca John, representative of convict Mukesh Kumar, said that since the four were sentenced to death by a common order, they have to be executed together and cannot be selected.
Let me admit that I have delayed the process, I am the worst person, I have committed a horrible crime that is unimaginable, I am still entitled to Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution, John presented.
During his arguments, Mehta argued that the decision to condemn Pawan Gupta for not presenting a curative or mercy petition is a deliberate and calculated inaction.
He said there was a deliberate delay by the convicted and an immediate reaction to their pleas by the judicial and executive system.
The law officer said that, according to the interpretation of the rules of the court of first instance, if convict Pawan Gupta decides not to file a declaration of clemency, no one could be hanged.
There is a deliberate movement of co-convicts to delay the process that can frustrate the mandate of the ruling of the trial court that gives them the death penalty that was confirmed by the Delhi high court and confirmed by the Supreme Court, he said.
Referring to the case of gangrape and murder of Hyderabad on December 6, 2019 of a veterinarian in which the four defendants were killed by the police in an alleged meeting, the Attorney General said that what happened there was shocking, but the People celebrated it.
He made a very bad impression ... The credibility of the institution (the judiciary) and its own power to execute the death sentence is at stake, he said.
The Supreme Court had formed a three-member commission headed by a former judge of the superior court to investigate the alleged meeting.
Police had claimed that the four defendants in the Hyderabad case were shot dead in retaliation by the police when two of the defendants opened fire on them after snatching their weapons and tried to escape from the place where they had been taken for a reconstruction of events as part of the investigation.
Although human rights activists had questioned the police claim, a section of people had justified the murders.
The four convicts of the Nirbhaya case are playing with judicial machinery and testing the patience of the nation, Mehta said, adding that any delay in the execution of the death penalty will have a dehumanizing effect on the convicts.
While Mukesh and Vinay Sharma's statements of mercy have been rejected by the President, Pawan has not yet submitted it. Akshay Singh's clemency petition was filed on Saturday and is pending.
The lawyer AP Singh, who appeared for the convicted Akshay Singh (31), Vinay Sharma (26) and Pawan gupta (25), opposed the request of the Center to put aside the suspension of the execution of the death penalty .
John raised a preliminary objection to the Center's request saying it was not maintainable. She argued that the Center never participated in the proceedings of the case before the trial court and, although the government accused the convicted of lateness, he woke up only two days ago.
It was the parents of the victim who transferred to the trial court for the issuance of death orders against the convicted. At no time did the central government or the state government approach the trial court to immediately issue death warrants, John argued.
John told the superior court that the Center has submitted a statement in the Supreme Court for clarification on whether convicted persons can be executed separately and this petition is pending before the main court.
Mehta, however, said those convicted should not be hanged only until the stage of their SLP before the Supreme Court.
Seven years have passed, but the convicted continue to play with the state machinery and the judicial system, he said, adding that the crime committed by these convicts was so frightening that it has shaken the conscience of the nation.
By opposing the plea, John urged that she be only pressing for a common execution, if that happens, and as today there was no definitive order to order the executions of the damned.
He added that the trial court issued a common sentence that would hang them from the neck to death and that those sentenced to death have every right to take advantage of the resources available until their last breath.
John said that the day when the execution will happen is not far away, but no one should avoid the procedure, since it is the question of a person's life.
He argued that the Supreme Court never said that those convicted delayed the process and their curative petition, as well as the President's petition for clemency, were rejected for merit and not due to delays.
A 23-year-old paramedic student, known as Nirbhaya, was raped and brutally assaulted on the night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in southern Delhi by six people, before being thrown onto the road .
He died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
One of the six defendants in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar prison.
A young man, who was among the defendants, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reform home after serving a three-year term.
The superior court, in its 2017 verdict, confirmed the capital punishment granted to those convicted by the Delhi superior court and the trial court.