Do away with mercy plea for rapists of kids, says President Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind also said “demonic” attacks on women have shaken India’s conscience.Updated: Dec 06, 2019 16:04 IST
President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday there should be no provision of mercy pleas for rapists of children and that a lot needs to be done to ensure the safety of women, amid outrage over the growing number of rape and murder in the country.
The President also said “demonic” attacks on women have shaken India’s conscience while addressing a national convention on ‘Empowerment of Women for Social Transformation’ at the headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris in Rajasthan.
“Rape convicts under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act should not be allowed mercy petition,” President Kovind said in Mount Abu.
“Women’s safety is a very serious issue. A lot of work has been done on this subject but much remains to be done. Incidents of demonic attack on girls shake the conscience of the country,” he said.
He stressed that a society based on equality and harmony could only be possible by empowering women.
“It is the responsibility of every parent to instil among boys the feeling of respect for women,” he said.
The President’s comments came as the Centre sent him the recommendation rejecting the mercy plea of one of the convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. The file has been forwarded to the President for his consideration and final decision.
The move also comes on a day the Delhi victim’s family made an emotional appeal for justice following the controversial killing of the four accused in the rape and murder case of the Hyderabad vet.
“I have been running from pillar to post for the last seven years. I appeal to the justice system of this country and the government that Nirbhaya’s culprits must be hanged to death at the earliest,” the Delhi woman’s mother was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had forwarded the file, which was sent to him by the Delhi government on the issue, to the Union home ministry two days ago rejecting the mercy plea.
Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts facing the death row for the rape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, had filed the mercy petition before the President last month.
The woman was returning home after watching a film with her friend on December 16, 2012, when she was raped by six men on a moving bus and thrown off the vehicle. The woman died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Prison authorities had written to Sharma and three other convicts—Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, and Mukesh Singh—on October 27 that they had exhausted their legal options.
They said that the department would start the process for their hanging if the four did not file a mercy plea.
Of the four convicts, Sharma is the only one to file the mercy plea.
One of the accused Ram Singh had hanged himself in the jail and a juvenile was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment in a reform facility.