(Clockwise from top left) Akshay Kumar Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The Centre approached the Delhi High Court on Saturday challenging a trial court's order staying the execution of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
The plea was mentioned before Chief Justice D N Patel for an urgent hearing and it will be heard later in the day.
The execution of death sentence was earlier scheduled for February 1, Saturday. The Ministry of Home Affairs has challenged the trial court's Friday order, which had stayed the execution of the convicts till further orders.
The plea, which sought setting aside of the trial court's order, has made parties the convicts, Mukesh Kumar, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh, Director General (Prisons) and Superintendent of Tihar Jail.
It said the trial court judge has acted beyond its jurisdiction in postponing the death warrants issued against the four convicts.
The plea said the trial court, while postponing the death warrants "till further order", has failed to consider that the convicts were found guilty for gruesome and horrible offence of gangrape and murder of a woman.
It further said that the convicts were given sufficient opportunity to avail all the remedies available to them but they deliberately chose to delay the process of filing their pleas.
The Centre said it was the nodal agency to maintain law and order in Delhi and was also the concerned department to process the mercy petitions files by any death row convict in the national capital.
The plea said the conduct of the convicts clearly shows their intention to delay the process of execution of death sentence, which is not only an abuse of process of law but also mockery of courts and the judicial system.