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Nirbhaya convicts to be hanged on Feb 1, 6 am

Nirbhaya convicts to be hanged on Feb 1, 6 am

New Delhi: The Patiala House Court on Friday issued fresh death warrants for the execution of the four convicts in the rape and murder case of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi in December 2012, more commonly known as the Nirbhaya case.

Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora ordered the execution to take place on February 1 at 6 am after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts.

The same court had earlier this month issued death warrants to the four convicts to be executed on January 22 but the Tihar Jail authorities had submitted that the execution could not take place until the mercy pleas of all the convicts are sorted out.

Meanwhile, Mukesh's mercy plea, which was moved after the Supreme Court dismissed his curative petition, was sent to the President on Thursday night from the Union Home ministry with a recommendation to reject it.

The new execution date is set for exactly 14 days from the judgment in accordance with a law which stipulates that convicts must have time for a reprieve after their mercy pleas are rejected. Interestingly, three of the four convicts are yet to file their mercy pleas, which means that there is a possibility of a two-week delay every time these three mercy pleas are rejected. In addition, two convicts are yet to file curative petitions before the top court.

The court was hearing a plea by Mukesh to postpone his execution and a plea by Tihar Jail authorities seeking fresh death warrants when the new dates were announced.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi asked parties to refrain from milking political gain from her daughter's fate amid a bitter fight between the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre over the continued delays in the execution of the convicts, who were sentenced in 2013.

While the victim's parents' lawyers told reporters after the death warrants were issued that they are hopeful of the execution being carried out on February 1, they are not entirely sure that the date will not get extended owing to the pending legal processes available to the convicts.

Team MP

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