NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday rejected the last mercy petition in the 2012 Nirbhaya murder cum rape case. Pawan Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the case, was the last to file a mercy plea and the petitions of other three—Vinay Kumar, Akhshay Thakur and Mukesh Singh have already been dismissed by the President.
With Wednesday’s development, the four convicts have exhausted all legal remedies and the hanging is likely to take place within a fortnight. A fresh death warrant against the four will now be issued by a Delhi court.
According to the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in its Shatrughan Chauhan judgment of 2014, the convicts are to be given a time of 14 days to set their affairs straight and “prepare” for the execution.
The four convicts were supposed to be hanged to death on Tuesday at 6 am. On Monday, hours before their execution, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana put on hold their execution when informed that Gupta has moved a mercy petition before the President.
The four convicts and two others brutally gang-raped the 23-year-old para-medical student in a moving bus on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012. She died a few days later. An accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by the Juvenile Justice Board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.