Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case: Convict Mukesh files mercy petition, seeks stay on death warrant

Mukesh, one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case has moved a mercy petition against his pending capital punishment. Mukesh, along with another convict Vinay, had filed a curative plea before the Supreme Court, which was rejected earlier in the day.

Mukesh has also moved Delhi high court to seek a stay on the death warrant issued against him arguing that a convict has a right to seek mercy from President without the shadow of looming capital punishment. Delhi HC will hear his plea on Wednesday.

As per a Delhi court order, the four convicts, Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay, are set to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am. Tihar jail has made the preparations for the execution.

Mukesh’s mercy petition will now be sent to the Delhi government and then to the Ministry of Home Affairs, before reaching President Ram Nath Kovind, who will give his decision on the basis of their recommendations.

Options before convicts:

Even as a date has been set for execution, the convicts have not exhausted all their options for relief. The SC on Tuesday rejected the curative petition of Vinay and Mukesh. The other two convicts – Akshay and Pawan – can still utilise their option of filing the curative plea. A curative petition is the last judicial remedy available to a person convicted by courts of law.

If curative petitions are rejected, convicts have the option of seeking mercy from the President as Mukesh has.

Earlier, a mercy petition for commuting the death sentence of Vinay Sharma had passed the halls of Delhi government and home ministry. But before the President could give his decision on it, the convict claimed that he never filed it.

The four men have been convicted for the brutal 2012 gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student, who came to be referred to as Nirbhaya. The woman was gang-raped and assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012 in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

The Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder led to nationwide protests and forced the government to set up a committee to review the country’s laws on rape and crime against women. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the government amended rape laws to make them tougher.

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Source – India Today