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MHA recommends President to reject mercy plea of Nirbhaya convict days ahead of hanging

Delhi’s Patiala House Court had on January 7 issued death warrants against all the four convicts in the 2012 case, according to which the convicts are to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.

SNS | New Delhi |

With less than a week left for execution, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday night sent the mercy petition of Nirbhaya convict Mukesh Singh to Rashtrapati Bhavan recommending President Ram Nath Kovind to reject the plea

The Delhi government has rejected the mercy plea of 2012 Delhi gangrape case convict and had recommended the Centre to reject the mercy petition as well.

The MHA had received the mercy petition of convict Mukesh Singh from the Delhi Lt Governor’s office, officials had informed on Thursday.

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.

However, the Delhi High Court refused to set aside the death warrant issued against convict Mukesh.

Meanwhile, Tihar Jail authorities on Thursday asked the Delhi government to issue the new execution date of the four Nirbhaya convicts because of the mercy plea filed.

This came as a Delhi court directed Tihar jail authorities to file a proper report by Friday about the status of the scheduled execution of convicts in the Nirbhaya case.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora asked the jail authorities to submit a report under Section 840 of the Delhi Prison Rules stating the action taken regarding the mercy petition of Mukesh and regarding the postponement of the date of execution.

As per law, there should be a 14-day gap between the rejection of a death-row convict’s mercy petition and his execution.

However, the judge has refused to change the date of execution as of now.

Delhi’s Patiala House Court had on January 7 issued death warrants against all the four convicts in the 2012 case. The convicts are to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.

Four of the six convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Thakur Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) — 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 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.

One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court and released after spending three years in a correction home, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.