New Delhi: The Tihar Jail authorities on Wednesday told the High Court that the execution of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case can’t take place on January 22, as a mercy plea has already been filed. Under prison rules, the government will have to wait for the convict’s mercy plea to be decided for executing death warrant, the standing counsel of Tihar Jail told in the High Court, which was hearing the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The Delhi High Court refused to set aside the trial court order which issued death warrant. It asked Mukesh’s counsel to approach the trial court and apprise the court about the pending mercy plea.

Advocate Rahul Mehra appearing for Tihar Jail authorities said, “It can only take place 14 days after the mercy plea is rejected as we are bound by the rule which says that a notice of 14 days must be provided to the convicts after the rejection of mercy plea.”

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected Mukesh Singh’s curative plea. Then he moved the Delhi High Court to set aside and also filed a mercy plea before President Ram Nath Kovind.

The four convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) — are to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail as a Delhi court issued their death warrants on January 7.

On Mukesh’s plea to the Delhi HC, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said, “He can do whatever he wants. But everything is crystal clear. SC and HC know everything. I hope his request will be dismissed.”