President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected the mercy petition of one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case. Sources have told that the Rashtrapati Bhavan has communicated the decision of the President to the Union Home Ministry.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier in the day forwarded the mercy petition of convict Mukesh Singh to the President, recommending its rejection, officials had said.
The lawyer representing Mukesh, however, said they haven’t received any communication regarding the President’s decision on mercy plea. “We do not know if the decision has been communicated to Mukesh in jail or not. We will find out at 3 pm in Patiala House court,” the lawyer said.
Mukesh, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, had filed the mercy petition on Tuesday after the Supreme Court dismissed curative petitions filed by him.
“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,” the official had said.
The Delhi LG had then sent the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh to the Home Ministry on Thursday, a day after the Delhi government recommended its rejection.
The four convicts — Mukesh Singh (32), Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) were to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail. A Delhi court had issued their death warrants on January 7.
However, the Delhi government had informed the high court during a hearing that execution of the convicts will not take place on January 22 as a mercy plea has been filed by Mukesh.
Nirbhaya’s mother breaks down over blame game
Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi, meanwhile, on Friday made an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying “you came to power in 2014 promising safety of women, so please hang them on January 22”.
In an interview with ANI, Asha Devi slammed both BJP and AAP for blaming each other over the delay in the hanging of the four convicts.
“Till now, I never talked about politics, I have only asked for justice with folded hands. But now I want to say that those people who protested on the streets with the tricolour and black flags in 2012, today they are playing with my daughter’s death for political gains,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.
“Some are blaming the government for this delay in delivering justice while some are saying give us the police and we will hang the convicts in two days.”
Slamming Delhi minister Manish Sisodia, she said, “Manish Sisodia Ji is saying they will hang the convicts if they get Delhi Police for two days. It feels like they are only making statements to get their demand of having the Delhi Police force.”
The BJP and the AAP engaged in a war of words on Thursday over “delay” in hanging of the Nirbhaya case convicts, with BJP blaming it on the Delhi government’s “complicity” and “sympathies” for them, while the AAP accused its rival of “instigating” people with a “lie”.