Union minister Prakash Javadekar has blamed the Aam Aadmi Party government for delay in the hanging of four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case.
“The Delhi gang rape case accused have not been hanged so far because of the irresponsibility of the AAP government. There is a process of giving notice to the accused sentenced to death by the Tihar so that they can take legal action. This was not done for 2.5 years,” said Javadekar.
This delay is complicity of the Delhi government, he added.
“Now the hanging cannot happens on January 22. If they had been given a notice as per the rule soon after the death sentence was announced in 2017, the accused would have been hanged by now. AAP government is responsible for the delay in justice,” said the Union minister.
The Delhi government said on Wednesday that the four convicts - Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma - will not be executed on January 22 as a mercy petition has been filed with the President.
Citing prison rules, the state government said they are duty bound to wait for convict’s mercy plea to be decided for executing the death warrant.
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday dismissed the curative petitions filed by two of the four convicts in the gang-rape and murder case - Mukesh and Vinay Sharma - challenging the May 2017 judgment of the court that had upheld their conviction and death sentence.
Immediately after the rejection of the curative petition, Mukesh filed his mercy plea before the President. He also moved the Delhi High Court challenging the decision of issuance of the death warrant by the additional sessions judge, stating that his mercy petition was pending before the President.
The plea filed through advocate Vrinda Grover also sought that her client be given a minimum of 14 days’ notice if the mercy petition is rejected so as to prepare for his departure from the world.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday that the Delhi government has recommended rejecting the mercy petition. Sisodia said the government had worked at lightning speed to make sure there was no delay by the city government.
The four convicts in the case - Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh - were scheduled to be executed at 7 am on January 22 in the Tihar jail premises.