New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected the mercy plea of Vinay Sharma, one of the four convicts of 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case on Saturday. The four convicts — Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta — were scheduled to be executed on Saturday in Tihar. But it got delayed as Delhi’s Patiala high court issued a stay order on the execution after the convicts’ lawyer moved for a stay order because of the pendency of Vinay’s mercy plea.

While the Tihar jail authorities wanted to hang the other three, lawyer AP Singh told the court that the four can’t be executed separately. The court issued a stay order until further notice.

When can the convicts be hanged?

Going by today’s rejection, the convicts can be hanged on February 15 if there are no legal hurdles in between. Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta have not yet filed any mercy plea.

On the intervening night of December 16 and December 17, 2012, Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old paramedic student, was brutally gang-raped and assaulted inside a moving bus near national capital’s Munirka area by six persons before being dumped on the road. Two weeks later on December 29, she succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

Within 48 hours of the crime, the Delhi police arrested all the six accused and charged them with sexual assault and murder. While the prime accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide inside Tihar Jail, one of the convicts, a minor, who was just short of 18 when the crime took place appeared before the juvenile justice court and released after three years in a reform home.