Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday (February 4) blamed the Delhi government for the delay in the execution of four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, saying the jail authorities took over a year to complete the process of informing the convicts.
“The appeal of the convicts was rejected by Supreme Court in 2017 but jail authorities took more than a year to complete the process for informing the convicts. The delay is due to the state government,” the senior BJP leader said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
His response in the wake of Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh requesting the intervention of the President and Supreme Court for the speedy execution of the four convicts — Akshay Singh (31), Vinay Sharma (26) and Pawan Gupta (25) and Mukesh Kumar (32).
The Supreme Court, in its 2017 verdict, had upheld the capital punishment awarded to the convicts by the Delhi High Court and the trial court. Two death warrants were issued against them so far but were cancelled due to legal complications.
Their execution on February 1 was deferred by a trial court since the mercy plea of one of the convicts was pending before the President. The lawyers of the convicts argued since they were sentenced to death by a common order, they cannot be hanged separately.
The Delhi High Court has reserved its judgment on a joint plea by the central and the Delhi government against the trial court’s decision to stay the execution of the four convicts “till further orders”.
The Nirbhaya incident refers to the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic students by six persons on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi. She died on December 29, 2012, in Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.
(With inputs from agencies)