President Kovind rejects mercy plea of Nirbhaya rape convict Pawan Gupta

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday rejected the mercy petition filed by Nirbhaya rape convict Pawan Gupta.

The hanging of the convicts had been delayed for the third time on Monday after one of the death row convict, Pawan Gupta filed a mercy plea before the President.

Following this a Delhi court had postpones the hanging that had been scheduled for March 3, stating that it could not be carried out as the disposal of Gupta's plea was pending.

However, this does not mean that the hanging will be re-scheduled in the upcoming days. According to Delhi Prison Rules, if a mercy petition is submitted, a 14-day period has to be given to the convict after the dismissal of the mercy plea.

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court had rejected Gupta's curative petition seeking commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment. The apex court had also rejected his application seeking a stay on the execution.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana had dismissed the plea, stating that both the applications -- for oral hearing and stay on the execution -- had been rejected.

Following the filing of the mercy plea, Nirbhaya's mother, Asha Devi had criticised the move, stating that "our entire system supports criminals".

Asha Devi said she "loses hope every day" but the convicts will be hanged no matter what they do.

"I lose hope every day but I stand tall everyday. They would have to be hanged. There could not have been a worse case than Nirbhaya but still I am struggling to get justice. The courts are sitting and watching the drama," she had said.

The Nirbhaya case deals with the gang rape, assault and subsequent death of a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in the national capital. She was given the moniker 'Nirbhaya' (fearless).

Six people were arrested for the crime and four of them have been convicted. One of the accused had allegedly committed suicide in prison during the trial. The sixth was a juvenile, and after spending three years in a correctional home, was released in 2015.

Review petitions and curative petitions were filed in a staggered manner before the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court's March 2014 order confirming the death sentence.

The convicts were awarded the death penalty and sentenced to death by hanging on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail. The last option of filing a mercy petition before the President to escape the gallows was exercised by the convicts one by one.

The date was then changed to February 1, and then to March 3.

Gupta was the last of the four convicts to file a mercy plea. Two of the convicts,-- Mukesh and Vinay -- had earlier filed pleas before the Supreme Court challengingd the rejection of their mercy petitions. The apex court had rejected these petitions.

(With inputs from agencies)

(To view our epaper please click here. For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

Free Press Journal