On Wednesday, a day after India's top court dismissed the mercy plea by two of the convicts in 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, Delhi prison authorities have told Delhi High Court that due to Mukesh's (one of the four convicted in the case) pending petition for mercy to the President of India, there would be no execution of the four convicts on 22 January.
Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra has stated that given Delhi prison rules, despite the petition for mercy not having been filed within the mandated period, jail authorities have to wait for the President's decision on the mercy plea. Delhi High Court disposed off convict's petition against death warrant.
"If the mercy petition is rejected, Mukesh will also be entitled to a period of 14 days to avail the remedies, and subsequently a fresh warrant will have to be issued by the trial court. Currently, Mukesh's mercy petition is with the Department of Home Affairs" he said.
The infamous rape by six men took place in Delhi in 2012. The men raped the woman in a moving bus on the night of 16 December 2012 in the Munirka area of India's national capital. The crime triggered an outcry in India with people coming out onto the streets, demanding safety and security for women.
One of the key accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide while in custody. Another was a juvenile at the time of the crime and was sent to a reformatory for three years. The remaining four - Akshay, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh - were set to be hanged on 22 January.
India had executed 720 convicts since independence in 1947. The last execution was in 2015, when Yakub Memon, was hanged to death for his involvement in a 1993 bombing in Mumbai.