New Delhi: The Union home ministry has rejected the mercy petition of Vinay Sharma, one of the accused in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case, and has forwarded the file to President Ram Nath Kovind. The file came two days ago from Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who had also rejected the mercy plea.
The ministry has, in its “file noting”, recommended the mercy petition be rejected.
However, home ministry officials said it was difficult to set a time-frame as to when the process would be complete since the final decision was now at the President's discretion.
“Once the President returns the file with his opinion we can inform the prison authorities as to what action is to be taken,” a senior home ministry official said. “But no deadline can be fixed.”
The incident that shocked the nation took place in Delhi on December 16, 2012, when a 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally raped and severely injured by a group of men inside a moving bus. She later succumbed to her injuries.
It triggered nationwide protests leading to changes in the criminal laws dealing with rape and other sexual offences against women.
A Nirbhaya fund was also constituted for the States to deal with such cases.
Vinay Sharma and two others, Mukesh and Akshay Kumar Singh, were sentenced to death. But it was only Vinay Sharma who filed the mercy petition.