Tihar Jail authorities have informed the Nirbhaya gang-rape case convicts that they have exhausted all legal remedies and are only left with the provision of filing a mercy petition against the death sentence before the President, officials said on Thursday. In a notice issued to the four convicts in the case on October 29, the jail superintendent informed them that they have only seven days within the receipt of the notice to file the mercy petition. "It is hereby informed that in case if you have not yet filed the mercy petition and if you wish to file the mercy petition in your case against the capital sentence before the Hon'ble President of India, you can file it within seven days of the receipt of this notice through prison authorities, failing which it will be presumed that you are not willing to file mercy petition in your case and the jail administration will initiate further necessary legal proceedings as per law," read the notice.
Tihar Director General Sandeep Goel said the notice was issued to them and if they do not file a mercy petition, the trial court will be informed and it will decide on the future course of action. Three of the convicts are housed in Tihar and one is lodged in Mandoli.
Sources said if the mercy petition is not filed, the prison authorities approach the court, which will issue a death warrant. The 23-year-old paramedic student was raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in south Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
One of the accused Ram Singh had hanged himself in the jail and another, the juvenile, was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment in a reform facility. On July 9 last year, the apex court dismissed the pleas of three convicts -- Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24) and Vinay Sharma (25) -- seeking review of it 2017 verdict which upheld the capital punishment given to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.
The fourth death row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh (33), had not filed a review plea in the apex court.