Sinful to condemn convicts’: Judge rejects death warrant plea against 4 convicts

A Delhi court has dismissed Tihar Jail request to grant a fresh date of execution through the issuance of a death warrant for the four convicts facing execution in the Delhi gang rape and murder case on Friday. While hearing the arguments, the court sought to know from Tihar authorities, how they presumed that no plea will be filed by Pawan Gupta, one of the four convicts, within the one-week deadline granted on February 5 by the Delhi High Court. It observed that the death warrants can’t be issued “merely on the basis of surmise and conjecture”. The petitioner told the court that since Pawan had not filed any legal challenge since 2018 when his review petition was dismissed by the SC, it was unlikely that he would file one now. The court didn’t agree and said it upholds the right to legal remedies for all the convicts in a telling statement. “It’s criminally sinful to condemn the convicts when the law permits them to live,” it observed. Tihar jail authorities had sought a fresh date of execution for the four convicts in the infamous Delhi gang rape and murder case of 2012 citing dismissal of mercy petitions of three convicts by the President of India and absence of any pending application by the convicts before courts. The defence counsel, however, called the application premature in the view of the February 5 Delhi High Court verdict that had given the convicts a week’s time to exhaust their legal remedies before authorities could decide on the next step.

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