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Nirbhaya case: Centre recommends to President rejection of mercy plea of convict

The Union Home Ministry today in agreement with the Delhi government has recommended the rejection of a mercy plea of one of the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case. The Union government has forwarded the file to President Ram Nath Kovind the Delhi government file rejecting the plea.

The move comes on a day when the victim’s parents made an emotional appeal for justice for her daughter following the controversial extra-judicial killing of all the four accused in a similar gang-rape and murder case of 26-year-old Hyderabad veterinary doctor.

It’s a coincidence that the mercy plea was forwarded to the President on the day he said that convicts under POCSO should not have the right to file mercy-petition.

“Women safety is a serious issue. Rape convicts under POCSO Act should not have right to file mercy-petition. Parliament should review mercy petitions,” President Kovind said at an event in Sirohi, Rajasthan.

Nirbhaya’s family hailed the encounter of four men accused of raping and murdering a veterinarian in Telangana and urged authorities not to punish the policemen responsible for the action.

Welcoming the extra-judicial killings, Nirbhaya’s mother said, “Today the court, the government and the Delhi Police should see what example the Hyderabad police has set. It is my request to the judiciary and the Centre that Nirbhaya’s accused should be hanged at the earliest and set an example before the society… the way they commit heinous crime, they will meet the same fate.”

Four convicts in the case were sentenced to death. Five men were convicted and sentenced to death. The minor was sent to a juvenile home and released under the law applicable for his age. One of the five men, Ram Singh, killed himself in jail. Of the four left, only one – Vinay Sharma – applied for mercy plea.

Swati Maliwal, chief of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) yesterday had urged the President to reject the mercy petition filed by one of the four convicts in the 2012 rape case. Maliwal has been on indefinite hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, demanding legal provision for capital punishment for rapists within six months of their conviction.

The 23-year-old paramedic student was gang-raped and assaulted on December 16, 2012 while she was returning with a friend after watching a movie. She later succumbed to her injuries. The brutality of the rape had rocked the nation leading to massive protests.

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