New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Sunday will hold a special hearing as it issued a notice to Tihar Jail authorities and the Nirbhaya convicts and sought their response on a plea moved by the Centre challenging the stay on their execution

The court yesterday heard the petition filed by the Central government and Tihar Jail authorities challenging the trial court's order which had stayed the execution of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case.

"The four convicts by filing their respective review or curative petition or mercy petition, one after the other and that too at such a belated stage, that is after the issuance of the death warrants, are in fact being permitted to play with the majesty of law leading to unnecessarily prolonging the execution and thereby taking the judicial process for a ride," the plea said.

It said that the convicts have deliberately chosen to file their review, curative and mercy petitions, beyond the statutory period available to them with the sole objective to delay the execution of the death warrant.

A Delhi court had on Friday stayed till further orders the execution of the four convicts Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma which was earlier scheduled to take place on February 1.

The case pertains to the gang rape and brutal murder 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 Delhi. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.

One of the five adults accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail during the trial of the case, while the juvenile was sent to a reform centre and released after three years.