The already-delayed execution of the four men convicted of raping a 23-year-old paramedical student on a moving bus and dumping her on the road in 2012 has been pushed by two weeks. A Delhi court issued fresh death warrants today which say the convicts will hang on February 1 at 6 am.
The order follows the rejection of the mercy plea of one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, by President Ram Nath Kovind today, hours after the home ministry had recommended so.
The new execution date is exactly after 14 days from today, the minimum notice period that is given between the rejection of mercy petition and scheduled date of execution.
The three other convicts have yet to file their respective mercy petitions.
The defence lawyer also told the court that the Special Leave Petition challenging the finding that Pawan was not a juvenile is pending before the Supreme Court.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora observed that in this case convicts are filing their pleas separately and one after another, when all four of them were given an opportunity to file mercy petitions, but only one preferred.
“How long would this continue for,” he asked.
Meanwhile, senior advocate Vrinda Grover, who appeared for Mukesh Singh, moved an application seeking certain documents to avail post-mercy remedies.
The Supreme Court had rejected curative petitions by two of the four convicts Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Kumar on Tuesday, after which Mukesh preferred a plea to the President of India.
Yesterday, a Delhi court directed the Tihar jail authorities to file the status report by today about the status of the scheduled execution of convicts.
The Delhi government had earlier rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh. The mercy plea was then sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs via Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who accepted the recommendation of the Delhi government.
Reacting to fresh delay in the execution of the convicts, the mother of the paramedic said, “Jo mujrim chahte the vahi ho raha hai…tareek pe tareek, tareek pe tareek. Humara system aisa hai ki jahan convict ki suni jaati hai.” (Convicts are getting what they want – a date after date. Our system seems to listen to only convicts)
The convicts, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta, were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.