Women

2012 Delhi Rape Victim’s Mother Slams Indira Jaising's Appeal to Forgive Convicts

"Whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims," Asha Devi said.

New Delhi: Asha Devi, the mother of the 2012 Delhi gangrape victim, slammed Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising for asking her to forgive the four convicts on death row, according to ANI.

“Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion?” Asha Devi said. “Whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” she added.

Devi further accused Jaising of “supporting rapists” to earn her livelihood. “Can’t believe how Indira Jaising even dared to suggest such this,” she said. “I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, not once she asked for my well being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn livelihood by supporting rapists, hence rape incidents don’t stop,” she said.

On Friday, Jaising had, in a tweet, asked Asha Devi to “follow the example of Sonia Gandhi who forgave Nalini” and forgive the convicts on death row. Nalini Sriharan was sentenced to death in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case. Her death penalty was commuted to a life term after the intervention of his wife Sonia Gandhi, who urged for clemency on account of the fact that Nalini had a young daughter who was born in jail.

Also read: With President Rejecting Nirbhaya Convict’s Mercy Petition, Is it Now a Straight Road to Hanging?

Jaising also said, “We are with you but against death penalty”.

Previously, in an interview to ANI, Asha Devi had slammed political parties and said that “the same people who had in 2012 gone around participating in rallies and raised slogans for women’s safety are playing with the death of my daughter for their political gains. They have stopped the execution for their political gains”.

The four convicts – Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh – were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, which was later upheld by the Delhi high court and subsequently the Supreme Court in May 2017.

They have been found of raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on the night of December 16, 2012. Apart from these four, one convict died by suicide in prison while another accused, a minor, was sent to a detention home for juveniles and was released in December 2015.

Fresh death warrants were issued for their execution on February 1, after the previously scheduled execution on January 22 was delayed. This was because one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, filed a mercy petition to the president, which was rejected on Friday.

Mercy petition rejected at ‘record speed’

President Ram Nath Kovind’s order to reject Mukesh Singh’s mercy petition, which was filed after the Supreme Court dismissed his curative petition against the death sentence verdict, stood out for the speed at which the government acted.

While the petition was filed on Tuesday, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia announced his government’s rejection the very next day. The plea was then signed off on the state’s recommendation by the Union home minister and by Friday, the petition had reached the president. President Koving announced his rejection on the same day.

According to officials who had handled mercy petitions previously, the rejection coming in just four days was a record. In contrast, Ajmal Kasab’s 2012 mercy plea which was filed months before his execution was decided in 54 days.

Another convict, Pawan Gupta, moved the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the Delhi high court’s rejection of his claim that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime.

(With inputs from PTI)