President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday rejected the request for mercy by Pawan Gupta, one of the four convicts in the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi dubbed "Nirbhaya".
On Monday, a Delhi court had refused to hold, yet again, the execution of the four Nirbhaya case convicts, who were to be hanged at 6 am on Tuesday.
The Patiala House Court dismissed an application to stay the execution of Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, who have staggered multiple petitions challenging their death sentence. The court, while reserving judgement on Pawan Gupta's fresh petition, tore into the convict's lawyer for filing the petitions at this stage.
The court passed the order on his plea seeking to stay the execution as he filed a mercy petition before the President on Monday. The Delhi government recommended rejecting Pawan Gupta's request for mercy.
The four convicts, along with two others – one of them a minor – had gang-raped the young woman and tortured her with an iron rod on the night of December 16, 2012. She died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.
One of the attackers, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after spending three years at a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.
The brutality of the attack had outraged the nation bringing thousands on the streets in protest, which led to key changes in the law and security system.