After the mercy petition of Nirbhaya convicts is rejected — the chances of which are very high because the president normally does not go against the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs — preparations have now begun for their execution. This, even as today another convict Akshay Thakur has appealed for mercy a day after his accomplice Vinay Sharma said he wanted his plea for presidential clemency back as the documents do not bear his signature.
The only glitch in going ahead with the plan to execute the Nirbhaya convicts is the absence of an executioner in Tihar Jail. Several media reports, in the meantime, suggest the date of the hanging will be determined immediately after President Ram Nath Kovind’s response to the two pleas, and it will be a day of December 2019.
According to information received from the sources, Nirbhaya’s convicts can be punished the same day when the abusive, abominable act was carried out in a bus in Delhi. The jail authority wishes that the president respond as soon as possible so that they can make adequate arrangements and execute the culprits of Nirbhaya on December 16 at 5 AM, say sources. Though the jail administration has not confirmed this yet, sources say that the date of execution is almost fixed. The Tihar administration has now sent its officers to different jails of the country in a lookout for executioners.
Sources said that informal talks were being held with the jail authorities of Uttar Pradesh. The Union Home Ministry on Friday had recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind that he dismiss the mercy plea of convict Vinay Sharma. The next day, however, Sharma withdrew his mercy petition, saying that the petition was sent without his consent.
On 16 December 2012, a bus driver Ram Singh and his five accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and a juvenile — whom BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had identified as Afroz — gang-raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus. The minor, who strangely never underwent a bone-marrow test for age-determination despite his school certificate looking dubious, is now leading a life of anonymity. The prime accused Ram Singh committed suicide in Tihar Jail.
After seven years, the remaining four convicts may be sentenced to death.