Tihar Jail authorities have sent notices of the ultimatum to the culprits of the brutal gang-rape and murder of a young woman referred to by a section of the media as “Nirbhaya” in 2012. The court has informed them that they have already made use of all the legal provisions of the country for relief. Now the only way out for them is applying for clemency to President Ram Nath Kovind. The jail authority shared this information on Thursday.
The Tihar Jail Superintendent sent a notice to the convicts on 26 October. The notice stated that they have only five days to file the petition for life. The convicts will have to submit a petition to the president through prison authorities for the clemency. The prison authorities have been informed that they will take the next step in accordance with the law if they do not seek life from the president.
Tihar Jail director-general Sandeep Goel said the convicts in the Nirbhaya case had been sent a notice. If they do not apply for a petition, they will be notified to the trial court. The court will take the next step. Following this procedure, three executions have been held in Tihar and four in Mandoli. According to sources, the authorities will inform the court if any of them do not want clemency. The court will then issue a death warrant.
On 16 December 2012, Nirbhaya, a 26-year-old paramedic student, was gang-raped and killed in a moving bus in Delhi. The court ordered the hanging of five of them after they were convicted in a trial.
The sixth rapist and murderer was imprisoned at a juvenile home for two months as a he was a minor and released even amid a public furore over the soft approach to him due to his religious identity. Referred to as “Afroz” by BJP politician Subramanian Swamy, the man escaped with a gentle punishment by flaunting his school certificate that showed him falling short of 18 years by a mere six months. As such certificates from villages of Uttar Pradesh are largely not considered reliable, people had demanded a bone marrow test. For reasons known best to the prosecution, it did not demand the test for the age verification of this convict. He now lives incognito.
The main convict in the Nirbhaya case, Ram Singh committed suicide inside the jail.
The Supreme Court had ordered the execution of Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, convicted of gang rape and murder on 27 July. The apex court rejected the plea of life imprisonment for the four men last May.
The parents of Nirbhaya had recently appealed to the court for the execution of the four men. They requested the court to expedite the hearing of the petition filed against the hanging order. They had made the plea in Delhi’s Patiala House Court in mid-February.
Another section of the media referred to the victim as “Damini”. While the real name of the woman is now well-known, Sirf News will still withhold it as the legal requirement of a written consent letter for disclosure of the name has not been obtained from the parents of ‘Nirbhaya’. The name of the sixth convict, Afroz, however, appeared in mainstream mediums like India Today.