BY : KOSHA DOSHI
In the year 2012, a tragic incident took place which brought forth sensational widespread nationally and internationally. On 16th December, 2012 a gang rape which caused a thousand of people across the country stand for injustice caused. A 23-year-old woman along with her friend, Awindra Pratap Pandey were traveling by a private bus when the woman was raped brutally, tortured and assaulted. Her friend was also subject to grievous harm and sustained injuries. The woman was hospitalized in Singapore 11 days later wherein she soon passed away within duration of 2 days.
The famous case of Nirbhaya Gang rape case caused people to have candle light protests followed by violent agitation against injustice. The four accused were Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay. The case went on for several years after which on 7th January, 2020 the court issued a death warrant against the convicts for the date of 22nd January, 2020. The second black warrant was issued on 17th of January, 2020 after the mercy petition on plea of Mukesh and Vinay had been rejected. The convicts were to be hanged on 1st of February, 2020 but has currently been postponed.
The Delhi Court asked the Tihar Superintendent to file a report regarding an application sent by two of the convicts regarding a stay on their execution. The Additional Sessions Judge, Ajay Kumar Jain had demanded the report to be sent across by 10 am of 31st January, 2020. The convicts Akshay and Pawan had filed an application plea to the Patiala High Court in regard to the stay on execution.
In accordance to the Sessions Judge order dated 17th January, 2020 the current date of execution of the convicts was 1st February, 2020 at 6 pm. The grounds for the stay on execution according to plea were that the convicts had no exhausted all the remedies available to them. The convicts were yet to file their mercy petition wherein Vinay’s mercy petition had already been submitted to Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India.
Question of Law-
The application for stay on execution made a reference to the Rules 836 and 858 of the Delhi Prison Rules wherein the death row of a convict must be provided with notice minimum 14 days after rejection of the mercy petition. This led to 1st of February, 2020 being an unsustainable date. Irfan Ahmad, the prosecutor argued that the petition was filed approximately 40-42 days later which led to a complete mockery of justice.
The convicts counsel, AP Singh stated that the stay of execution was a sine die. On the 31st of January, 2020 the Delhi court granted a stay on the execution till further orders. This meant that the date proposed earlier would not be considered and 1st of February, 2020 would not be the day of execution. The judgment was passed by Judge Dharmender Rang which postponed the execution. The court was informed that Pawan’s review petition in regard to his age at the time of offense was still pending before the Supreme Court.
The Counsel for Mukesh, Vrinda Grover made a point stating that Vinay’s mercy plea was not carried out quo other convicts. It meant that in case Vinay’s mercy is favored then Mukesh must be given another chance to file the mercy petition. She further stated that the execution cannot take place separately as a sentence have its severance done. The sentence granted was common so was the death warrant. Convicts cannot be executed separately for the same offense as death penalty is irreversible.
Advocate Seema Kushwaha and Jeetendra Jha made an important statement that the convicts were manipulating the judicial system to delay then execution. The delay tactics was distressing and outraging the public and was reflecting badly on the judicial pillar. Speedy justice needs to be delivered for true justice to have been served .
A gang rape that took place approximately eight years ago brought an abrupt commotion all over the country. Delay of the execution due to manipulative judicial procedures has already led to justice not having served. The convicts were supposed to be hanged on 22nd January, 2020 which got postponed to 1st February, 2020 and currently was granted a stay execution until further orders.