President rejects mercy petition in Nirbhaya Gangrape case, execution of convicts on Feb 1

indica News Bureau-

 

Despite rejection of mercy petition of one of death row convicts Mykesh Singh,  in the Nirbhaya Gangrape case of 2012, by President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday, the death sentence of the 4 criminals which was to take place on January 22, has been postponed to February 1. Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed confirmed that the mercy petition had been rejected by the President and the copies had been supplied to the convict.

The Delhi High Court issued the fresh death warrant stating that the convicts will be hanged at the Tihar Jail Number 3 at 6 am on the first day of February, 2020. 

Singh had filed a mercy petition to the President of India earlier this week, and another one at a petition at Delhi Court, asking for his execution to be postponed. 

The postponing of the execution has caused bitterness among citizens saying that justice is being denied. 

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora, who had previously ordered execution of all four convicts for January 22, questioned why the other three convicts had not yet appealed against the death warrant or exhausted their legal remedies.

“This case presents a scenario when convicts were given the opportunity to file mercy but only one preferred. There might be delay tactics. For how long will this go on? Had death warrant not been issued, the convicts would not have initiated using their legal remedies,” the court said.

The Delhi Prison Rule states that, “If the sentence of death has been passed on more than one person in the same case, and if an appeal or an application is made by or on behalf of only one or more but not all of them the execution of the sentence shall be postponed in the case of all such persons (prisoner sentenced to deaths)”.

Currently, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh have already exhausted their option of a curative petition before the Supreme Court against the death sentence, while the other two — Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh — are yet to approach the apex court with their curative pleas. Sharma, Gupta and Akshay Singh — have also not filed a mercy plea before the President.

Advocate A.P. Singh, representing Sharma and Gupta, said a case was pending before the Supreme Court on the question of Pawan Kumar Gupta’s alleged juvenile status when the crime was committed. Gupta has challenged the high court’s December 19 order by which it had also deprecated the conduct of his advocate for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court. 

The court passed the fresh directions on the application moved by Tihar jail authorities seeking issuance of fresh death warrants against the four convicts. The jail authorities told the court that the convicts have not yet availed of all the remedies provided under the law.