In a new twist to the Nirbhaya rape case, the three convicts presently lodged in Tihar Jail and Mandoli Jail have refused to file their mercy petitions with the President against their death sentences.
According to the reports, the convicts of Nirbhaya gang-rape have neither filed their appeal for mercy petition to the President of India nor approached the Supreme Court to get a stay against their execution.
Instead, AP Singh, the lawyer representing convicts Vinay Sharma, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Kumar Gupta, said that the three convicts had written to their jail authorities, seeking withdrawal of the October 29 notification on several grounds, which had granted them seven days time to file mercy pleas with the President against their execution. The fourth convict Mukesh is represented by a different lawyer.
Lawyer AP Singh said that in the case of Akshay Kumar Singh, a review plea was yet to be filed in the apex court. While a petition regarding Pawan Kumar Gupta’s claim that he was juvenile is pending at the Delhi High Court. He also said that the option of filing curative petitions is still being availed.
The jail authorities had informed the Nirbhaya gangrape case convicts that they had exhausted all legal remedies and were only left with the provision of filing a mercy petition against the death sentence before the president.
Reportedly, the time for filing mercy petition is now over as on October 29, the Tihar Jail authorities had handed over the notice of execution to the convicts while notifying them that they had a window of 7 days to apply for ‘mercy petition’ against their capital sentence with the President.
As the time to file mercy petition is nearing, the jail administration will now start preparing to hang the culprits by sending an application to the lower court.
The rapists and murderers were apprised that in case they do not choose to file a mercy petition, necessary legal proceedings will follow as per the law. The four convicts may soon be sent to gallows in this case as they have refused to file a mercy petition.
The four accused were found guilty of rape, murder and destruction of evidence in September 2013 and sentenced to death by hanging. The Delhi High Court upheld the sentence, noting that the crime, which prompted widespread protests over sexual crimes against women in the country, fell into the judicial system’s “rarest of rare category” that allows capital punishment.
The convicts then appealed in the top court but the Supreme Court rejected the convicts’ appeal stating that they had committed “a barbaric crime” that had “shaken society’s conscience,” and maintained the death sentence of the four convicts who had been charged with rape and murder. In July 2018, the Supreme Court rejected a review petition by three of the convicts. There were two other persons involved in the horrific crime. One of the accused Ram Singh had commited suicide, while the sixth person was a juvenile who had already spent the maximum two year term applicable for minors in a juvenile home and is leading a free life now.