Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today held Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government responsible for the delay in the execution of death sentence given to the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case.
"The appeal of the convicts was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2017 but jail authorities took more than a year to complete the process for informing the convicts. The delay is due to the state government," Mr Javadekar said in Rajya Sabha.
The minister's comment came after AAP MP Sanjay Singh's request for intervention of President Ram Nath Kovind and the Supreme Court for speedy execution of death sentence awarded to the convicts.
The Delhi High Court on Sunday reserved its order on a plea filed by the central government and Tihar Jail authorities challenging the order of Patiala House district court which stayed the execution of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Centre, had alleged that the convicts were deliberately delaying the execution, adding that any delay in death sentence will have a dehumanising effect on the convicts.
A Delhi court has stayed till further orders the execution of the four convicts -- Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma -- which was earlier scheduled to take place on February 1.
The four convicts, along with two others had gang-raped the young woman in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. Tortured with an iron rod and thrown off the vehicle, she died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.
One of the assailants, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after spending three years in a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.
The savage assault stunned the nation and led to multiple changes in law and procedure.