- Nirbhaya convict Pawan Gupta filed mercy petition on Monday
- A court had refused to hold 4 convicts' execution scheduled for Tuesday
- Delhi government had recommended rejecting Pawan Gupta's mercy plea
President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected the mercy petition of the last of the four death row convicts in the gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old medical student in Delhi dubbed "Nirbhaya". With this, the convicts exhaust all options for relief from the death sentence. The authorities of Tihar jail, where the men are lodged, said they would approach courts for a fresh date of execution, which has already been deferred thrice.
On Monday, a Delhi court had refused to hold the execution of the four Nirbhaya case convicts, who were to be hanged at 6 am on Tuesday.
"In view of rejection of mercy petition of Pawan by the Honourable President of India, we will be approaching the Patiala House Court today for fixing fresh date of execution of death warrant in respect of all the four convicts," the Director General of Delhi's Tihar Jail said today.
The Patiala House Court dismissed an application to stay the execution of Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, who have staggered multiple petitions challenging their death sentence. The court, while reserving judgement on Pawan Gupta's fresh petition, tore into the convict's lawyer for filing the petitions at this stage.
The court passed the order on his plea seeking to stay the execution as he filed a mercy petition before the President on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, Pawan's curative petition was rejected by the Supreme Court, which marked the end of all legal options before the convicts. Pawan promptly filed the mercy petition with the President; even though it has been rejected, the law says the convict can be hanged only after 14 days.
The Delhi government recommended rejecting Pawan Gupta's request for mercy.
The four convicts, along with two others - one of them a minor - had gang-raped the young woman and tortured her with an iron rod on the night of December 16, 2012. She died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.
One of the attackers, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after spending three years at a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.
The brutality of the attack had outraged the nation bringing thousands on the streets in protest, which led to key changes in the law and security system.