Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday rejected a plea filed by Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts held guilty for the gang rape of a medical student, now known as "Nirbhaya", in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012.
The rejection came a day after a court delayed the hangings of four rape convicts until further orders in view of a mercy plea by Sharma.
In his mercy plea to the president, Vinay Sharma said “I want to live for my parents, even if it means spending a lifetime in jail… the years spent in jail have already taught me a lesson".
All but one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, are yet to exhaust their legal remedies to seek relief from the death sentence passed by the Delhi Sessions court on 7 January but was deferred to 1 February previously adhering to the legal and prison rules.
On Friday, while deferring the death sentence until further orders, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana said: "Courts of this country cannot afford to adversely discriminate any convict including a death row convict".
Six men were originally held guilty of the brutal crime that was perpetrated on 16 December 2012, when the woman was returning home around midnight with a male friend and took a private bus in which the suspects were present.
While the key accused Ram Singh committed suicide in jail during trial, another was set free after spending three years in a reform facility as he was a juvenile when the crime was committed.
The crime triggered a nationwide outcry for women’s rights and safety.