New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday rejected the mercy plea filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape case, clearing all roadblocks to the execution of the four convicts. The mercy plea was filed by Mukesh Singh early this week after his curative plea was rejected by the Supreme Court. On Thursday, the Delhi government rejected the plea and forwarded it to the MHA. According to reports, MHA forwarded it to President on Thursday night.

In ‘lightning speed’, President’s office too rejected the petition.

The filing of the mercy plea delayed the execution of the four convicts which was scheduled to take place on January 22. According to prison rules, the execution can take place at least 14 days after the mercy plea is rejected by the President.

Now, going by the prison rules, the execution can take place after 14 days. The Tihar authorities have asked for a new date on Thursday. The petition being rejected today, a new date will still be announced as only five days are left for the scheduled execution date, which will break prison rules.

Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta were to be hanged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail at 7 am on January 22, the trial court judge had declared last week, signing a death warrant seven years after a young medical student was gangraped on a moving bus. Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma’s last legal appeal against their death sentence was dismissed by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday. This was their last chance for mercy petition. The three other convicts have yet to file their respective mercy petitions, following the rejection of which a convict is given a 14-day period of reprieve before the execution.