After mercy plea rejection, Delhi court issues fresh death warrants against Nirbhaya convicts for February 1

New Delhi: Mukesh Singh, one of the four men on death row in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, on Friday exhausted all his legal options with President Ram Nath Kovind rejecting his mercy plea and the Home Ministry sending it on to the Delhi government, officials said.

A Delhi court on Friday issued fresh death warrants for February 1, 6 am against the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora was hearing a plea by one of the four death row convicts in the case, Mukesh Kumar Singh, seeking postponement of the date of his execution scheduled for January 22.

Earlier in the day, the Tihar jail authorities sought issuance of fresh death warrants against the four convicts.

Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed told the court that Mukesh's mercy plea was rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday.

Advocate AP Singh who is representing the rapists however said on Friday that the four death-row convicts cannot be executed until their appeal in a robbery case pending before the Delhi High Court is disposed of.

"The Tihar Jail authorities have concealed the fact that appeals of the convicts in a robbery case are still pending in the Delhi High Court. Their execution is not possible until the robbery case is disposed of,' Singh told ANI.

In August 2015, a Delhi court had held the four death row convicts guilty of robbing a carpenter named Ram Adhar. The court convicted the four convicts -- Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta -- for robbery, kidnapping, wrongfully confining a person, voluntarily causing hurt in committing or attempting to commit robbery, dishonestly receiving stolen property under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The convicts were tried for beating up and robbing Ram and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. They had then filed an appeal in the High Court which is still pending.

Earlier this year, a Delhi court had issued death warrants against all the four convicts and ordered they be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail. Following this, one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the death warrant issued against him. Thus, the execution death had been put on hold.

The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road.

She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

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