Delhi High Court has said the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case cannot be executed separately.
The court gave a week to the convicts to exercise all their legal remedies, after which the trial court will begin proceedings for their execution. With this historic ruling, the court settled the indefinite freeze on execution of four Nirbhaya convicts placed by the lower court.
The court did not agree to the trial court interpretation that the pendency of mercy petition of even one convict was ground to postpone the executions. However, it did not set aside the order.
Since the fate of the four convicts had been decided by the Supreme Court, they must be executed together, Delhi High Court observed.
The orders were passed on the revision petition of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) against the January 31 order of the trial court which stayed until further orders the execution of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case until further orders.
"Delhi Prison Rules do not say that if a mercy petition of one convict is pending, the execution of the other convicts can take place," the court observed. "Since up to the Supreme Court, their fate has been decided by a common judgment, I am of the opinion that the death warrant of all convicts should be executed together and not separately," the judge added.