New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Friday the Centre's appeal challenging the Delhi High Court verdict dismissing its plea against stay on the execution of the four death row convicts in the sensational 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
A three-judge bench, comprising Justices R Bhanumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, will hear at 12.30om on Friday the appeal of the Centre against the high court's verdict, said the apex court's web site.
The Centre, through its Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj, moved the top court seeking an urgent hearing on its appeal assailing the verdict which held on Wednesday that the death row convicts have to be executed together and not separately.
A bench, comprising Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari, took note of the submissions of the law officer and assured that the plea would be listed for urgent hearing on Friday.
Natraj told the court that jail authorities are unable to execute the convicts in the case despite the fact that their review petitions have been dismissed and curative petitions and mercy pleas of three of them have been rejected. The high court set a week's deadline for them to avail the remaining remedies.
If the convicts choose not to make any type of petition in seven days from now, the institutions/ authorities concerned will deal with the matter, as per the law, without further delay, it said.
Meanwhile, the trial court on Thursday sought by Friday the response of the four convicts on the plea of Tihar jail authorities seeking issuance of fresh death warrants against them.
The trial court had on January 31 stayed "till further orders" execution of 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.
Later, the Centre moved the High Court against the stay of the execution of the convicts. Hours after the high court's verdict, the Centre filed an appeal against it in the apex court.
The high court faulted the authorities concerned for not taking steps for issuance of death warrants after rejection of appeals of the convicts by the Supreme Court in 2017.
A lawyer associated with the matter had said the grounds taken for challenge in the top court are almost the same as taken in the high court while filing the appeal against the trial court order.
He had said the Centre has stated in the petition in the apex court that the convicts can be hanged separately as Mukesh has exhausted all his remedies, including the mercy plea.