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Suspense over Nirbhaya convicts hanging on Jan 22 as Delhi govt says mercy plea still pending

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Here’s why Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur are not likely to be hanged next Wednesday.

The Nirbhaya rape and murder convicts (L-R: Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Mukesh Singh). (Photo: India Today)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Delhi govt forwards mercy plea to L-G after ‘lightning’ rejection
  • Govt says Jan 22 hanging unlikely for Nirbhaya rapists
  • Convicts will get 14 days from the day Prez decides on mercy plea: Lawyers

The Delhi government says the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape case aren’t likely to be hanged at 7 am on January 22 — as ordered by a court earlier — in view of the mercy petition filed by one of them: Mukesh Singh.

As well, the Additional Solicitor General and Delhi government lawyers have said in court that convicts will get 14 days from the day the President of India takes a decision on their mercy pleas.

Delhi’s deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, said Mukesh Singh’s mercy plea was rejected immediately and forwarded to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

Sisodia said the recommendation of the rejection was done with lightning speed.

SUPREME COURT REJECTS CURATIVE PLEAS

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected curative petitions filed by Mukesh Singh, 32, and Vinay Sharma, 26, and refused to stay their execution.

Singh then filed a mercy plea.

The two other convicts haven’t yet filed curative petitions — the last judicial remedy available to convicts — but review pleas from all four men have been rejected by the Supreme Court.

Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur were part of a group of six men who gangraped a 23-year-old Delhi paramedic student — now known as Nirbhaya, or “fearless” — in December 2012. It was a display of brutality so unhinged that Indians, left shaking with fury, poured into the streets to demand justice.

The victim soon died of her injuries.

One of the six rapists killed himself in jail and another, a juvenile, was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

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