At ‘lightning speed’, Delhi asks Centre to reject gang rape convict’s mercy plea
The Delhi Government has recommended rejecting the mercy petition filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the four men sentenced to death for the 2012 gangrape, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Wednesday.
The Delhi government’s recommendation to the Home Ministry comes less than 24 hours after Mukesh Singh appealed to Rashtrapati Bhavan to spare him from the gallows. Sisodia said the government had worked at lightning speed to make sure there was no delay by the city government.
“There was a fresh mercy petition filed. Delhi government worked at lightning speed and has sent back this file too to the L-G. It has been rejected from our end. This fresh mercy plea has been sent to the President already,” Sisodia told reporters.
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The deputy chief minister’s assertion comes hours after a Tihar jail official told the two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court that the four death-row convicts will not be hanged on January 22 if their mercy petition is still pending. Mukesh Singh, who had filed the mercy petition yesterday, had approached the bench of justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal to stay the order to execute them since their mercy petition was pending before President Ram Nath Kovind.
Simultaneously, Mukesh Singh had also moved the Delhi High Court challenging a lower court’s decision to issue a death warrant for the execution of the four men in Tihar on January 22. This petition has also been rejected with the direction to approach the subordinate court to seek a stay on the death warrant.
In his plea before the high court, Mukesh said since his mercy plea is pending before the President and that he should be given a minimum of 14 days notice, if the petition is rejected by the President. Citing a judgment of the Supreme Court, the plea further said that the Apex court had held that there must be a minimum of 14 days notice between the communication of rejection of mercy plea and the scheduled date of execution so that a convict can avail his judicial remedies and make all final preparations.