Today's Paper

Nirbhaya case convicts told to file mercy plea

The Tihar jail administration has sent notices to the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case informing them that they have exhausted all legal remedies and are only left with the provision of applying for mercy before the President within seven days.

“All the legal proceedings regarding the case against you [convicts] have been completed. However, the only option remaining in your defence is ‘mercy petition’. Hence, the jail administration seeks to inform you that if you have not filed your ‘mercy petition’ before the President, you may do so within seven days of receiving this notice. If not, then it will be deemed that you do not wish to do so and the administration will begin further proceedings regarding your sentence,” the notice states.

Even if one of the convicts applies for the mercy plea, it becomes applicable to all. Tihar jail Director-General Sandeep Goel said three convicts are lodged in Tihar, while the fourth one is in Mandoli jail. The notices, in Hindi and English, were handed over to the convicts on October 29. They were read out to them and the process was videographed, he said.

‘Convicts restless’

“After getting the notices, the convicts became restless. Following the procedure, the Tihar administration will inform the trial court which had pronounced the death penalty about the notices,” said a senior jail official.

Reacting to the development, Nirbhaya’s mother said: “I welcome the move. I hope that after seven years, my daughter will get justice. It will be the biggest message to people who are involved in crimes against women.”

The counsel for the convicts, A.P. Singh, said he got a call from Tihar Welfare Department about the notices. “I will first apply for mercy for convict Akshay Thakur and then the others,” he said.

On July 9 last year, the Supreme Court had dismissed review pleas filed by three convicts — Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma.