Indira Jaising urges Nirbhaya’s mother to follow Sonia Gandhi’s example

Indira Jaising./ File

Indira Jaising./ File  

“We are with you but against death penalty,” she said.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising has urged Nirbhaya’s mother to “follow the example” of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, suggesting that she pardon the four men sentenced to death for raping her daughter in 2012.

The four convicts are scheduled to be hanged at 6 a.m. on February 1 in the gangrape and murder case.

Ms. Jaising, in a tweet on Friday, said while she fully identifies with the pain of Nirbhaya’s mother, she urges her “to follow the example of Sonia Gandhi who forgave Nalini and said she didn’t not (did not) want the death penalty for her.”


“We are with you but against death penalty,” she said.

Nalini Sriharan was sentenced to death in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case. Her death penalty was commuted to life term after the intervention of his wife Sonia Gandhi, who urged for clemency on account of the fact that Nalini had a young daughter who was born in jail.

'Family's views irrelevant'

However, legal experts say the views of victim’s family on whether to forgive or not the convicts in a criminal offence like the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case have no “legal value” as such offences are against the State.

Senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Vikas Singh said the views of family members of a victim in a criminal case on grant or denial of pardon to convicts cannot be considered in a court of law.

“No. No. They (views of family member ) have no value actually and the courts have to go by the law. The prosecution is always done by the State and that is why it is always the State versus so and so. The criminal offence is always against the State,” Mr. Dwivedi said.

Mr. Dwivedi said moreover “the fact is that the complainant (Nirbhaya’s mother) is not agreeing to Indira Jaising’s view that she should pardon the convicts like Sonia Gandhi."

Mr. Singh, a former Supreme Court Bar Association President, said, “Such views of the family members have no value. Absolutely no legal value. It cannot be used in any court of law.”

He, however, said the convicts may use the favourable views, if any, in their mercy pleas before the president.

On January 17, a Delhi court issued fresh death warrants for February 1 against the four convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan (25) -- in the Nirbhaya case.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh.

The other three condemned convicts have not yet availed of the constitutional remedy of filing mercy petitions.

The Supreme Court had on January 14 dismissed the curative petitions of Vinay and Mukesh against their conviction and capital punishment. The other two convicts have not yet filed curative petitions in the apex court.

Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old paramedic student, was gangraped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons, including the four death row convicts, before she was thrown out on the road.

She died on December 29, 2012, at a hospital in Singapore.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 10:04:48 AM |

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