HC refuses to stay death warrant against Nirbhaya case convict

The Delhi High Court rejected the petition filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya case, against the death warrant issued by the trial court even as the state government said the four convicts can 'surely not be hanged' on January 22 as a mercy petition filed by Mukesh is pending.

The court said it found nothing wrong in the warrants issued by the Additional Sessions Judge of Patiala House court for the execution of four convicts by hanging on January 22 at 7 am, but clarified that the petitioner can approach the trial court with the subsequent developments in the mercy plea.

During the hearing, the state government said it is bound by prison rules to wait for convict’s mercy plea to be decided before executing the death warrant.

Even after the plea is rejected, a death row convict has to be given 14 days' notice before execution, it added.

The counsel on behalf of the government, Rahul Mehra, told the HC that the petition filed by one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, was with the home department of the state government.

This would be forwarded to the L-G’s office, after which the file will then be sent to the union home ministry, which will forward it to the President.