Tihar reply sought on plea seeking stay on execution on Dec 16 gang rape convicts
A Delhi court on Saturday sought the response of Tihar jail authorities on a plea by Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta, convicts in the December 16 gang-rape case, seeking a stay on their execution scheduled for March 3.
Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana issued the notice to the jail authorities and posted the matter for further hearing on Monday.
The order comes after advocate AP Singh, counsel for three of the convicts, moved the stay application informing the court that Thakur has moved a fresh mercy petition before the President as the earlier one lacked facts.
He said that the earlier plea did not mention his financial condition and family background. Singh also contended that convict Pawan Gupta’s curative petition is pending before the Supreme Court, and will be heard next week.
The plea also said that other cases are also pending in the Delhi high court and hence the hanging should not took place as currently scheduled.
On February 17, a Delhi court had issued fresh warrants, for the third time, to hang the convicts on March 3 at 6am.
Thakur and Gupta, along with Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma, are on death row after they were found guilty of raping and murdering a 23-year-old paramedic student inside a moving bus on December 16, 2012. Their hanging, as ordered by a city court, has been postponed twice so far.
On Saturday, the judge also asked AP Singh to file a fresh vakalatnama, after he said he had filed the curative for Pawan and will also file the mercy petition to the President. Singh had refused to represent Gupta in court. Gupta’s father, Heera Lal Gupta, had also said he would get a new lawyer to defend his son.
The court had later appointed advocate Ravi Qazi, legal aid counsel, to assist Gupta. However, he refused to take him as a lawyer when he had gone to the Tihar jail to get some documents signed.
The court will now hear the matter on Monday, March 2, when it is likely to take a call on staying the execution.