05:33 GMT05 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): All four convicts held for the rape and fatal assault of a 23-year-old Delhi woman, an incident that shook the entire nation to its very core, were supposed to be hanged on 1 February, but a Delhi court on Friday delayed their death sentence until further orders for the second time.

    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".

    Meanwhile, Mukesh Singh, whose mercy plea was rejected by President Kovind on 17 January, had challenged the rejection in court. However, the court rejected his petition.

    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.


    Hunger-Striking Delhi Women's Commission Chief Urges Modi to Mandate Death Penalty for Rape Convicts
    Delhi Gang Rape and Murder: No Mercy from Supreme Court for Four Convicts, Death by Hanging Stands
    Nirbhaya Gang-Rape: Delhi Court Delays Hanging of Four Convicts Again
    gang rape, death sentence, Ram Nath Kovind, Nirbhaya, New Delhi, Delhi, India
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