India’s federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar has told parliament that the appeal of the four convicts against the death sentence was rejected by the Supreme Court of India in 2017, but the jail authorities under the government of the national capital took more than a year to complete the process of informing the convicts.
"The delay is due to the state government", Javedkar said.
The minister’s response came when Sanjay Singh, a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament belonging to the Aam Aadmi Party, which is in power in Delhi, demanded the intervention of the president and the top court for a speedy execution of the death warrant against the convicts in what is popularly known as the Nirbhaya Gang Rape case.
On Sunday, 2 February, the federal government told the High Court of Delhi that the punishment should be handed out to those who do not have any legal options left in the case.
Six men were originally held guilty of the brutal crime that jolted the national conscience on 16 December 2012. While the key accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide in jail during trial, another, being a juvenile at the time of the crime, was set free after spending three years in a reform facility.
The four have been filing mercy pleas one after the other leading to the delay in the execution of the death sentence.