India

President rejects mercy petition of Nirbhaya gang rape convict Pawan Gupta

Delhi gang rape convicts Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta (face covered), Vinay and Mukesh Singh (R) being taken to the High Court in New Delhi on September 24, 2013.

Delhi gang rape convicts Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta (face covered), Vinay and Mukesh Singh (R) being taken to the High Court in New Delhi on September 24, 2013.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday rejected the mercy petition of Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four men on death row in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case .

Gupta was the last to file the mercy plea , the petitions of the other three convicts had been rejected earlier by the President.

Later, the Delhi government moved a city court seeking a fresh date for the execution of the four convicts.

According to Delhi Prison Rules, a 14-day period has to be given to a death row convict after the dismissal of a clemency plea before the prisoner can be hanged. All the four men are to be hanged together.

The Delhi government told Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana that “all legal remedies of the convicts have been exhausted and nothing survives now”.

The judge then directed the convicts to file their response by Thursday even as the lawyer for the prosecution said no notice was required.

While issuing the notice, the court said principles of natural justice are part of Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution and the sacrosanct principle of Audi alteram partem (listen to the other side) cannot be ignored.

The hanging of Mukesh Kumar Singh, 32, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, besides Gupta, 25, was previously scheduled for March 3 . It was deferred for the third time in six weeks by the court on Monday.

The first date of execution — January 22 — fixed on January 7 was postponed by the court to February 1. But on January 31, the court indefinitely postponed the hanging. On February 17, the court again issued fresh date for execution of death warrants for March 3 at 6 a.m.

Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case.

The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2022 7:25:40 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/president-rejects-mercy-petition-of-nirbhaya-gang-rape-convict-pawan-gupta/article61967228.ece