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Three convicts plea seek stay on execution citing two new mercy petitions to be heard tomorrowVerdict on another convict’s plea alleging he was not in Delhi on crime day likely tomorrowThe convicts have even approached the ICJ for stay on execution scheduled for March 20 Delhi gang rape convicts make fourth attempt to stall hanging hours before D dayA Delhi court on Wednesday sought the response of the Tihar jail authorities on a plea by three of the four Delhi gang rape and murder convicts–Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma–seeking a stay on their execution since two of the convicts had filed a second mercy petition, just a couple of days before the scheduled hanging on March 20.Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana also questioned the last-minute bid to stop the hanging of the four convicts who were found guilty of brutally gang raping a 23-year-old paramedic student on a moving bus on December 16, 2012.“Why do you approach the court only at last hour? Is there anything pending anywhere?,” the judge asked AP Singh, the counsel for the three convicts who petitioned the court.Singh replied that a curative petition by Pawan Gupta claiming juvenility at the time of the incident is pending before the Supreme Court. In his plea, Singh has stated that a second mercy petition for Pawan and Akshay has been filed before the President of India. He also said that a divorce petition by Thakur’s wife is pending in a court of Bihar.The plea also cites “bad air quality” in Delhi and the coronavirus pandemic to claim that the hanging of the four convicts on March 20 is “unsustainable” and hence it should be postponed till further orders. He said another appeal by Pawan Gupta’s father against the star witness is pending adjudication before the Delhi High Court.The Public prosecutor appearing for the Tihar jail opposed the plea. However, the court issued notice and posted the matter for further hearing on Thursday at 12 PM.Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court reserved its order on a plea by Mukesh Singh, through his counsel ML Sharma, challenging the trial court’s rejection of his claim that he was not present in the city during the time of the incident.On Tuesday, a city court had dismissed Singh’s plea that alleged he was falsely implicated by the police which did not show the actual date of arrest. However, the court held that all these defenses have already been rejected by the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court while considering the appeals at various stages.On Wednesday, Sharma told the court that his client was arrested from Karoli, Rajasthan on December 17, 2012, and not on December 18, 2012, as contended by the prosecution.However, Advocate Rahul Mehra, the standing counsel of the state, opposed the plea and called it a desperate attempt to stall the execution.“What prevented them to tell about torture if he was facing it in jail. Mukesh could have written a letter to the competent authority about the torture,” he said.Following arguments, Justice Brijesh Sethi reserved the order and is likely to pronounce it on Thursday.Also Read – 2012 gangrape convict now says he was not in Delhi on day of crime, seeks stay on executionThree convicts– Akshay, Pawan and Vinay—have also approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a stay on the execution of their death sentence.Hanging of the four convicts– Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma—has already been stayed thrice triggering outrage from the victim’s mother and a section of the civil society who have accused the convicts of using loopholes in the law to frustrate justice.