A fresh death warrant has been issued by Delhi’s Patiala House Court against the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case, who will now be executed at 6 am on February 1.
According to a January 7 order, the convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Thakur Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) — who were found guilty in the rape and murder of a Delhi medical student, were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.
The change in execution date comes hours after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected a mercy petition filed by Mukesh Singh.
As per law, there should be a 14-day gap between the rejection of a death-row convict’s mercy petition and his execution. The new execution date is exactly 14 days from today.
Mukesh had on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the death warrant issued against him.
Following this, the Delhi government and prison authorities informed the High Court on Wednesday that the execution of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case cannot take place on January 22 in view of the mercy plea.
Meanwhile, Public Prosecutor appearing for Tihar jail authorities has informed the court that convict Mukesh has been officially intimated about the rejection of his mercy plea by the President.
The 23-year-old victim, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was brutally gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, inside a running bus in south Delhi by six persons, which later led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder.
Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petitions.
The fifth accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while a sixth accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.