A day after the Delhi government told the high court that the death sentence to four Nirbhaya case convicts cannot be executed on January 22 as scheduled because of a mercy petition filed by one of them, the victim's mother, Asha Devi, said on Thursday why should she suffer for the "negligence" of Tihar Jail officials and the government.
"The date of execution should not be extended. There are several loopholes and escape routes for the convicts' benefit, but for somebody like me -- who had to do the rounds of the courts for so many years after witnessing the death of my only daughter -- there seems to be no respite at all. Why should I suffer because of the negligence of Tihar Jail officials and the Delhi government?" she said.
"If they have rights, we too have the right to justice for our daughter who was killed seven years ago," she added.
Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta are to be hanged next Wednesday at 7 am inside Tihar jail in Delhi. A trial court judge earlier this month signed a death warrant for the execution, seven years after a young medical student was gang-raped on a moving bus, tortured and killed in December 2012.
After the court refused to entertain their curative petition on Tuesday, which was the last legal recourse available to them, Mukesh Kumar filed a mercy plea with the President. Later, the government told the court that the mercy plea was filed to frustrate the process of law, and said that the execution could only be carried out after all four convicts have exhausted their right to mercy plea.
"Then your rule is bad if you cannot take action till all the co-convicts have moved mercy plea. There has been no application of mind. The system is suffering from cancer," the court had said.
Tihar jail authorities today asked the Delhi government to postpone the hanging of the convicts.
"There are five days to January 22. The President is likely to reject the mercy plea in a day or two. Then these people will ask for 14 days' time. Then they will ask for a new date. In such a situation, how can the hanging take place," the court said today.
The centre has blamed the AAP government for the delay in the execution, after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said they had rejected the mercy plea at "lightening speed".