Nirbhaya convicts entitled to exhaust legal remedies: Court

New Delhi


A Delhi court on Thursday adjourned till February 17 hearing on a petition seeking issuance of death warrant in Nirbhaya rape case, observing that condemned convicts are entitled to exhaust their legal remedies and it cannot afford to ignore their fundamental rights.

"Article 21 protects the life and liberty of condemned convicts till last breath. The condemned convicts are entitled to exhaust the legal remedies and the court cannot afford to ignore heir fundamental rights," Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana said.

The court also asked the new counsel representing a death-row convict, Pawan, to study the matter.

The court on Wednesday gave liberty to Pawan to choose his own counsel after his lawyer, A.P. Singh, refused to represent him in the matter.

The court directed the death-row convict to select his counsel from the list of empanelled advocates of the Delhi State Legal Service Authority.

The case pertains to the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in the national capital in December 2012.

Out of the four convicts, Pawan is the only one who has not yet availed of the remedy of either curative or mercy petitions, which will be the last judicial and constitutional resort available to him.-IANS