The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing to March 5 on the Centre's plea challenging the Delhi High Court judgement that four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case couldn't be executed separately. On February 14, the top court had said the pendency of the Centre's appeal, seeking separate execution of convicts, would not be a hurdle for the trial court to issue a fresh date of execution, now scheduled for March 3.
A Bench, headed by Justice R. Banumathi and comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Navin Sinha, adjourned the hearing on the appeal filed by the Delhi Police and the Delhi government for 3 p.m. on March 5.
On February 5, the Delhi High Court dismissed the Centre's plea challenging the trial court order staying execution of death-row convicts. The HC said the authorities had not taken proper steps in the process of issuing death warrants.
On February 7, the trial court ordered fresh date for execution at 6 a.m. on March 3.
The four convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) -- in the Nirbhaya case are yet to exhaust all remedies. The President has dismissed the mercy petition of three convicts.
Akshay has not yet moved the top court against rejection of his mercy plea. Pawan has not yet filed curative petition in the top court or the mercy plea.
The top court had asked the convicts to file their responses on the Centre's plea.
Earlier, the top court dismissed separate pleas filed by Mukesh and Vinay against the President's decision to reject their mercy pleas.