Nirbhaya's rapists would not be hanged on January 22 as mercy petitions continue to delay the process. If we go by the rules and regulations of the jail manual, hanging will not happen on the decided date. The jail manual states that a convict cannot be executed until his mercy petition is pending with the President. Even after the President rejects the mercy plea, the convict will have a 14-day period.
Mukesh and Vinay, two of the four convicts, had filed curative petitions which were dismissed by the Supreme Court days back. Then, convict Mukesh filed his mercy plea which is pending. It is pertinent to note that there was no curative or mercy petition filed by Mukesh in the last two-and-a half years, a strategy devised by the lawyer of the convict.
Earlier on Thursday, a Delhi court directed Tihar jail authorities to file a proper report by Friday about the status of scheduled execution of convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora passed the directions after the jail authorities said they have written to the Delhi government on the issue of scheduled execution on January 22 in view of pending remedies.
The court was hearing a plea by one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, Mukesh Kumar Singh, seeking postponement of the date of his execution on the ground that his mercy petition is pending with the President.
The lawyer appearing for Mukesh told the court that there are subsequent developments that necessitate setting aside the death warrants.
Mukesh's counsel moved the trial court immediately after the Delhi High Court declined to entertain his plea to set aside the January 7 order issuing his death warrant and asked them to approach the lower court.
The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.