A Delhi court issued a new death warrant against all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case on Friday. According to this fresh death warrant, the culprits will be sentenced to death on February 1 at 6 AM instead of 22 January at 7 AM as ordered in the previous warrant.
Earlier today, President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the plea for clemency by convict Mukesh Singh.
The Union home ministry late in the night yesterday had sent the clemency plea to the president. after which the president rejected it. Nirbhaya’s father welcomed the rejection of Mukesh Singh’s plea to the president to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. “Hearing the news that there may be a delay in the execution had dashed all hope,” he said, heaving a sigh of relief.
Mukesh Singh had filed a mercy petition two days ago.
Meanwhile, union minister Smriti Irani held a press conference hurled a barrage of allegations against the Arvind Kejriwal government of Delhi. She said that the Supreme Court had rejected the review petition in July 2018. The jail ministry that comes under the government of the AAP will not wake up until Nirbhaya’s mother pleads in public, Irani said.
Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said today that his government had completed all the work under its jurisdiction within a few hours. “We have not delayed any work related to this matter. The Delhi government hardly has any role in this. We want the culprits to be hanged at the earliest,” he said.
Nirbhaya’s father disagreed. He said that the AAP government was responsible for the delay in getting justice for his daughter. He said that after the Supreme Court rejected the review petition, it was the job of the state government to give notice to the jail administration and ask the convicts to file mercy petition within a week. The Delhi government sat on the files, he said.
“Not only this,” the father added, “while we were fighting the case in court, the Delhi government sent its lawyer to help the culprits.” He said that Delhi government’s lawyer Rahul Mehra spoke about the jail manual in the court, which helped the convicts delay the execution of their death penalty.
Nirbhaya’s mother said, “When the incident happened in 2012, these people (AAP activists) took a tricolour in their hands and demonstrated with black bands. They held many rallies and chanted slogans for the safety of women. Today these very people are playing with the death of that girl.”
The mother continued, “Someone is passing the buck while someone is saying if he is given the charge of Delhi Police, he could hang the convicts in two days. They are delaying the execution for their own benefit.”
Nirbhaya’s mother said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in 2014 that the rise in the rate of crimes against women had risen alarmingly. “I want to plead with the prime minister, sir, the way after coming back to power and doing things fast one after the other like removing Article 370 and making triple talaq illegal, please amend this law (that helps convicts push back the execution of the death sentence). Don’t joke with the death of a girl child and let the four convicts be hanged on the 22nd.”
The incident on 16 December 2012 had shaken the conscience of the nation. Six drivers and conductors of a private bus raped and molested the 23-year-old woman and inserted a rod into her private parts. The paramedic student succumbed to her injuries a few days later. All the six accused were arrested by the police. One of them was controversially declared as a minor and subjected to the juvenile justice system. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy alleged that it was a Muslim boy called Afroz. The ringleader of the rapists and killers, Ram Singh, committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar Jail days after getting arrested. Through the appellate jurisdiction, the special fast-track court in Saket, the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court found the remaining accused Vinay, Mukesh, Akshay and Pawan guilty and their death sentence pronounced by the first court was upheld in the higher courts.