Dec 16 gang rape convicts told to file mercy plea by Nov 4 or hang till death
The prison officer wrote that if the mercy petition was not filed before the President by November 4, the administration would start the process for their hanging by informing the court.Updated: Nov 01, 2019, 08:14 IST
The four convicts who were sentenced to death in the December 16 Delhi gang rape case will have to file a mercy petition before the President by Monday (November 4) to stop the process of their execution. The Tihar jail administration, where the convicts are lodged, on Tuesday sent a notice to the four men reminding them that they have exhausted all legal remedies against the court order sending them to the gallows.
The prison officer wrote that if the mercy petition was not filed before the President by November 4, the administration would start the process for their hanging by informing the court. Till late Thursday evening, the jail officers were yet to receive any communication from the four men or their counsel.
The President of India has the power to commute the death sentence awarded to a convict.
Additional inspector general (prisons), Raj Kumar, who is the jail’s spokesperson, confirmed that the four convicts were issued the notice. “The notice was sent on Tuesday. They have time to file the mercy petition by Monday. We will inform the court that convicted them if they do not file the plea.”
The officer also said the prison administration will review the status of the other prisoners who are on death row.
Explaining the process, a senior jail officer, who did not wish to be named, said if none of the convicts file mercy petition, the jail’s superintendent will write to the court informing them that the convicts do not wish to plead mercy.
“A black warrant will be then be issued by the court. Once we get the black warrant, we will start the process of execution. The execution will take place within the jail premises. The date and time of hanging will be decided by the prison authorities,” the officer said, adding that Afzal Guru, convicted in the 2001 Parliament Attack case, was the last prisoner to be executed in February 2013.
Mukesh Kumar, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, and Ram Singh were convicted and sentenced to death for brutally raping a paramedical student and assaulting his friend on a bus on December 16, 2012. The young woman had succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Singapore. While Singh had hanged himself inside the prison, a teenaged accused was let off in December 2015 after serving three years in a juvenile shelter home.