Nirbhaya Case: Vinay Sharma was to be hanged on February 1 .
Even as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a curative petition filed by one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case on Thursday, another person found guilty of the heinous crime has now filed a mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind.
“Vinay Sharma has filed a mercy petition before the President of India,” his lawyer AP Singh confirmed today.
The 64 – year-old was supposed to be executed along with three others – Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta – on Saturday. However, with Akshay Singh challenging the decision in the Supreme Court, the date is now expected to be further delayed.
The four were originally supposed to be hanged on January .
Akshay Singh’s curative petition will be heard by the judges in their chambers, and not in open court. Even if the plea is rejected, he will then have the option of sending a mercy petition to President Kovind.
The Nirbhaya case pertains to the shocking gangrape and murder of a medical student in the national capital in 2019. While one of the convicts died in prison and another was eventually let off on account of being a juvenile, the remaining four were sentenced to death. The last-minute petitions have been widely seen as desperate attempts by the convicts to stall their impending executions. The delay has been criticized by many, including the victim’s parents.
“These petitions before the court and the President are just tactics to delay the execution. They are doing it just to waste time. All the convicts must be executed on February 1, “Asha Devi, the mother of the victim, said when another convict approached the top court a few days ago.
Last week , the Union government had asked the Supreme Court to change guidelines related to death row cases so that convicts can’t keep delaying the sentence by exploiting legal options. The current rules are skewed towards convicts and allows them to “play with the law and delay their execution”, it said in a petition.