The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi on Thursday rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh Kumar, one of the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case. The plea was then forwarded to the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who has now sent it to Union Ministry of Home Affairs. This came as the BJP slammed the Arvind Kejriwal government for delaying the hanging of all four convicts in the case, stating that the state government's carelessness was reprehensible.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Delhi government told the High Court that the four rapists will not be hanged on January 22, citing the mercy petition by Mukesh Kumar which was pending. Refusing to interfere in the delay, the Delhi High Court refused to put a stay on the death warrant of Nirbhaya's rapists stating the petition is a strategy to 'prolong the matter'. The four convicts – Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) are to be executed on January 22 at 7 AM in Tihar jail. Currently, the petition is being heard by a Patiala House court after the Supreme Court rejected two convicts' curative petition.
A 23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gangraped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012 in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six convicts, one committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017.
(With ANI inputs)