After President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh, sources report that the prosecution in Nirbhaya case is likely to seek a new date to expedite the death sentence of the convicts.
This comes after a Delhi court ruled that two weeks' time has to be given to the convicts after the rejection of their mercy plea. As a result of this direction by the court, sources have predicted that a new date might be issued for the death sentence of the four convicts.
The Patiala House Court in Delhi has asked the Tihar jail to come up with a report that showcases the legal remedies exhausted by the convicts in the case. Only one of the four convicts’ mercy plea has been rejected in the case, thus he may get a two weeks' notice before the death sentence. Similarly, the other convicts may use the same tactic to delay the sentence. However, if the other three pleas are filed on the same ground, they may be rejected like Mukesh’s Singh's plea.
In a massive reprieve to Nirbhaya's parents, President Ram Nath Kovind, on Friday, has rejected convict Mukesh Singh's mercy plea. The Ministry of Home Affairs had forwarded his mercy petition to the president last night, recommending its rejection. The Delhi LG had sent the mercy petition of Mukesh to the Home Ministry on Thursday, a day after the Delhi government rejected his plea.
On Thursday, both BJP and AAP played blame game politics over the delay in the hanging of the four convicts. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar pointed out that Tihar jail authorities had not notified the convicts of their legal options since 2017, while AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said that the Kejriwal government had immediately rejected the mercy petition. All 4 convicts have been moved to Jail No. 3 where the hanging is scheduled to take place.
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 Patiala House court is mulling a new execution date, while hearing the plea asking for stay in the death warrant.