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    The Delhi High Court will on Wednesday pronounce order on the Centre’s plea challenging stay on execution of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case.

    Justice Suresh Kumar Kait had on 2 February reserved order on the Centre’s plea after holding special hearing on Saturday and Sunday.

    The Centre and the Delhi government has challenged the trial court’s  31 January order staying “till further orders” the execution of all the four convicts in the case — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31), who are lodged in Tihar Jail.

    Earlier in the day, the parents of the victim urged the court to expeditiously decide the Centre’s plea and were assured by the judge that the order would be passed at the earliest.

    The trial court on 7 January, had issued black warrants for the execution of all the four convicts in Tihar jail at 7:00 am on 22 January. However, they could not be hanged due to pendency of mercy petition of one of them.

    Later, on 17 January, the trial court fixed 1 February, 6:00 am as the hanging date and time.

    On 31 January, the trial court again stayed the execution as the counsel for three convicts —Pawan, Vinay and Akshay, urged it to adjourn the matter “sine die” saying their legal remedies were yet to be exhausted.

    While the mercy pleas of Mukesh and Vinay have been rejected by the President, Pawan has not yet filed it. Akshay’s mercy plea was filed on 1 February and is pending. The Centre and Delhi government approached the high court on 1 February, challenging the trial court’s order staying the execution.

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing them, had contended that it was a deliberate and calculated design of the convicts to “frustrate mandate of law” by getting their execution delayed and they were not entitled to any more time.

    The counsel for the convicts opposed the plea saying it was not maintainable and that the Centre was never a party in the case proceedings before the trial court and while the government was accusing the convict of delay, it has woken up only now.

    A 23-year-old paramedic student was raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of 16-17 December, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons, before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 in Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

    One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

    The top court, in its 2017 verdict, had upheld the capital punishment awarded to the convicts by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.

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