The remaining four convicts in the horrifying gang rape case of a 23-year-old woman in 2012, have been given a notice period of seven days to file mercy petition. The Tihar Jail administration sent out the notice on October 29. It informed the convicts — Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24), Vinay Sharma (25) and Akshay Kumar Singh (33) — that a mercy petition is their last legal remedy left to them.
“It is informed that all legal remedies in your case… as available in the Constitution of India have been exhausted except the provision of filing of mercy petition against the capital sentence before the President of India,” the notice signed by the Superintendent, Central Jail No. 2, Tihar Jail says.
“Further, it is hereby informed that in case you have not yet filed the mercy petition, and if you wish to file the mercy petition in your case against the capital sentence before the Hon’ble President of India, you can file it within seven days of the receipt of this notice, through the prison authorities, failing which it will be presumed that you are not willing to file mercy petition in your case and the jail administration will initiate further necessary legal proceedings as per law,” it says.
It has also been notified that an application seeking mercy petition by one of the convicts will apply to all four. While three of the convicts are lodged in Tihar Jail, one is housed in Mandoli Jail, Tihar Jail Director-General Sandeep Goel said. He added that the notices were sent out in Hindi and English and were read out to the convicts. The entire event has been videographed.
“After getting the notices, the convicts became restless. Following the procedure, the Tihar administration will inform the trial court, which has awarded the death penalty to the convicts, about the development,” the officer stated, The Hindu reported.
ML Sharma, the lawyer of one of the convicts, Mukesh, told Indian Express that he will contest the notice in the Supreme Court as he has yet to file a curative petition which he could file in a period of three years since the apex court ordered capital punishment in 2017.
Asha Devi, mother of the gang-rape victim, spoke to SheThePeople.TV and said, “ML Sharma's statement has no value in it since he has been trying to blame us and our daughter since forever. As far as the curative petition is concerned, he must show the order which says that he still has time to file the curative petition because there is no such thing.”
A P Singh, the counsel for Pawan, Vinay and Akshay has also sought to file the curative petition and challenge the notice. Although, Singh had made a similar commitment in March earlier this year when he told a Delhi court of Additional Sessions Judge Anu Grover Baliga that the three convicts he is representing may file a curative petition challenging its 2018 order dismissing their pleas for a review of its 2017 verdict which upheld the capital punishment awarded to them.
“ML Sharma's statement has no value in it since he has been trying to blame us and our daughter since forever. As far as the curative petition is concerned, he must show the order which says that he still has time to file the curative petition because there is no such thing.”
On May 5, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for the four convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape case. The four men convicted in the Delhi gangrape on December 12, 2012, had petitioned against the death penalty awarded to them by the high court in 2014. A bench headed by Justice Deepak Misra and consisting of Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan heard the case.
On December 12, 2012, a physiotherapy student named Jyoti Singh aka Nirbhaya exited a South Delhi mall at around 10.30 in the night after watching a movie with a male friend. The male friend and Jyoti took a bus to reach home. The bus had only six people inside, including the driver and conductor, who first beat up the friend and then brutally gang-raped Jyoti in the moving bus. They, then, threw Jyoti out on the road.
Picture credit: Zee News