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“Nirbhaya Convicts Won’t Hang In Time Because Of AAP”: Smriti Irani

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today hit back at allegations that his AAP government was to blame for delays in the execution of the four Nirbhaya convicts

New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said it was because of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi that the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case couldn’t be hanged in a time-bound manner after their review petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court in July last year.

“Why was the prison department, which comes under the AAP government, sleeping after the dismissal of review petition in July 2018? Why did the government give Rs 10,000 and a sewing kit to the juvenile rapist when he was released? Didn’t they see tears of Nirbhaya’s mother?” she was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

“I want to tell the Aam Aadmi Party that after the rejection of the review petition, because of you the convicts couldn’t be hanged in time. Such parties should be shamed- this is not only my party’s view but also of every law-abiding citizen of the country,” she added.

Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta were to be hanged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail on January 22, the trial court judge had declared last week, signing a death warrant seven years after a young medical student was gang-raped on a moving bus, tortured and killed.

The Delhi government, however, told the High Court on Tuesday that the hanging would have to be postponed as Mukesh Singh had filed a mercy petition with the President. According to the rules, the government counsel said, the convicts would have to be given a 14-day notice even if their mercy pleas were rejected. On Thursday, the Tihar jail asked for a fresh date for the execution.

Today, after the mercy plea of Mukesh Singh was rejected by the President, fresh death warrants were issued for the convicts, who will now be executed at 6 am on February.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today hit back at allegations that his AAP government was to blame for delays in the execution of the four Nirbhaya convicts. Mr Kejriwal said his government “hardly has any role in it (the execution)” and that whatever paperwork had to be filled out by the AAP was “completed…within hours”.

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