Justice hurried is justice buried, Nirbhaya convicts' lawyer tells Delhi HC

New Delhi [India], Mar 19 (ANI): "Justice hurried is justice buried," said Nirbhaya convicts' lawyer AP Singh in the Delhi High Court while hearing a petition filed by him seeking a stay on the execution of rapists on the ground of pendency of various legal applications in different courts.

The court told Singh that he has not raised a "single legal point".

"These are death warrants. This is the fourth one. Some sanctity should be given to them...," he said.

Singh then argued "we are not playing with the system. I have approached legal forum time to time provided to me as per the Constitution."

The court asked Singh to argue like a lawyer.

"Your contentions have been rejected by the Supreme Court. Can we set aside the Supreme Court judgement?" the bench observed.

Advocate Singh said: "The delay has not been intentional. Their family background needs to be looked into. I have diligently participated in the day-to-day hearing in trial court, High Court or Supreme Court."

The Delhi High Court pulled up lawyer of Nirbhaya convicts', AP Singh, for not adhering to prerequisite technicalities before filing the petition.

A Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula was hearing the plea of three convicts -- Akshay Singh Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta -- seeking a stay on the execution, which is scheduled for tomorrow morning, on the ground of pendency of various legal applications in different courts.

Advocate Singh said, "There are death warrants issued in the instant matter. The petition under Article 32 was fixed for today. At the time of the hearing, I submitted each and everything before the trial court. During the hearing in the Supreme Court, a trial court passed the order dismissing to adjourn the execution."

The court observed, "There is no annexure, no affidavits, no memo of parties. There is nothing in this matter. Do you (AP Singh) have permission to file this plea?"

Responding to this, Singh said, "No photocopy machine was working due to coronavirus. I am facing trouble."

"I have been so hopeless because of coronavirus. The photocopies are not available. I have everything but was not able to give copy because there are no means to get the photocopy done," he added.

The court ruled, "You (Advocate AP Singh) have moved three courts today. You cannot say that things are not accessible. We are here at 10 pm listening to you."Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi Police/Tihar Jail Authority said that Pawan Gupta did not exercise his access to criminal appeal for two and half years.

Advocate Singh apprised the court about the various cases pending before different forums including the divorce petition of Akshay's wife,plea at International Court of Justice (ICJ), criminal appeal in the High Court in the robbery case, a petition in the High Court against the election commission.

To this, Mehra said that these are not the relevant cases.Advocate Singh apprised the court about the case filed by Pawan Gupta in the Karkardooma court against police officials in Mandoli jail for allegedly hitting him in the head.

"It will be a great miscarriage if he will be hanged without giving justice. No doubt he is a death row convict but he is a victim here. He got 14 stitches on the head," he alleged.

"Let him be produced before the court and identify those police officials. Please look at the family record, there is no criminal antecedent," the lawyer said.

He also told the court that one petition is also pending before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). "How can the hanging happen when all these petitions are pending?" Singh asked.

The bench asked the advocate to "talk only on legal points". "We are not understanding what arguments you are making here. Time is running, there is no enough time," it said.

"What are you reading? This is someone's opinion. We don't know. You have not given us a copy of what you are reading. This is all meaningless. The book you are reading from, we don't who this person is. If he has stepped into the witness box. You are not addressing the people behind you but to us. It is not having any impact. You are not addressing a few journalists. You are addressing us. You are reading as if it is gospel truth," the bench observed.

The court further said: "We are close to the time where your client can meet the God. Don't waste time. We have no time. We will not be able to help you in the eleventh hour if you cannot raise an important point. You have only four to five hours. If you have a point then come to it."

"Was the plea regarding the juvenility taken into consideration? Law favours those who take timely action. For two and half years till March 4, 2020, what have you been doing? You are blaming us?" the court noted.

Replying to this, Advocate Singh said, "Give me two to three days, we need time to provide the court with documents."

To this, the Court said, "It is already 10.45 pm, execution is at 5.30 am. Give us a substantive point."

Four convicts -- Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta -- are scheduled to be hanged at 5.30 am on March 20.

Earlier in the day, a Delhi court refused to stay the execution of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, which is scheduled to take place on Friday morning.

The Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by Mukesh Singh, another convict in the matter, challenging a Delhi High Court's order rejecting his claim that he was not in the national capital when the crime was committed.

The case pertains to the brutal gang-rape and killing of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in the national capital. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later. (ANI)