Home Ministry Sends Nirbhaya Convict's Mercy Petition to President, Recommends Rejection

Home Ministry Sends Nirbhaya Convict's Mercy Petition to President, Recommends Rejection

New Delhi, January 17, 2020: A mercy petition filed by Mukesh Singh - one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case - was forwarded to President Ram Nath Kovind by the Union Home Ministry with a recommendation to reject it. The petition, which represents the convict's last possible appeal before his execution is carried out, was filed on Tuesday after the Supreme Court dismissed curative pleas filed by him and Vinay Sharma, another convict.

"The Home Ministry has forwarded the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh to the President. The ministry has reiterated the recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi for its rejection," a ministry official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta were to be hanged next Wednesday at 7 am in Delhi's Tihar jail, the trial court judge had declared last week, signing a death warrant seven years after a young medical student was gang-raped on a moving bus, tortured and killed in December 2012.

However, on Thursday, five days before the scheduled execution date, Tihar Jail officials asked for a new date, saying the executions could not take place till after all mercy petitions filed by the convicts are settled.

The three other convicts have yet to file their respective mercy petitions.

Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma's last legal appeal against their death sentence -- a curative petition -- was dismissed by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Following the rejection of a mercy petition a convict is given a 14-day period of reprieve before the execution is carried out.

Nirbhaya's mother, fearing more delay in the execution of the four men, said she had been going to many courts for years but wanted justice now. "If they have rights, we too have the right to justice for our daughter who was killed seven years ago," she said.

On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus before being dumped on a road in south Delhi. The woman, who came to be known as "Nirbhaya", died on December 29 in a Singapore hospital.

Six men were arrested for the horrifying assault. A fifth accused – Ram Singh – allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial and the sixth man, a few months short of 18 at the time of the incident, was released after three years in a reform facility.

(Source NDTV)