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Do away with mercy for children's rapists: President Ram Nath Kovind

The President's suggestion comes against the backdrop of the Union Government forwarding him the Delhi government's recommendation rejecting the mercy plea of one of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya case that shook the conscience of the nation. President asserted that "there should be no mercy for rapists. These kind of incidents shocked the whole nation."

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 06, 2019, 11.28 PM IST
President Ram Nath Kovind (File Pic)
NEW DELHI: The Union home ministry has recommended rejection of mercy plea of one of the convicts in the December 2012 gangrape case to President Ram Nath Kovind. The President’s secretariat is likely to decide on the mercy petition before December 16, said people aware of the matter.

Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts facing death sentence for the rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student, had filed the mercy petition before the President. As per the law, the death penalty of other co-accused cannot be executed unless the government takes a decision on Sharma’s plea.

Three others — Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and Mukesh Singh — did not file any mercy plea while the fifth accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail in March 2013. Officials said Sharma’s mercy plea has been pending for more than four months. It was only after the case of rape and murder of a 25-year-old vet in Hyderabad that the Delhi government expedited his appeal. Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal sent the file rejecting the mercy plea to the home ministry earlier this week.

The 23-year-old girl was gang-raped on December 16, 2012, and later she succumbed to her injuries. Her mother urged the President on Friday to reject the mercy petition filed by one of the four men convicted in the case. The President is likely to take a decision after his return from Mount Abu in Rajasthan, according to the people cited earlier, where he also spoke about women safety and incidents of attacks on girls.

“Women’s safety is a very serious issue. Incidents of demonic attacks on girls shake the conscience of the country. It is the responsibility of every parent to instil among boys the feeling of respect for women,” he said. Speaking on cases where minor girl are raped, President Kovind said: “In this context, several things are coming up. Such convicts have been given the right of mercy petition by the Constitution. I have said that there should be reconsideration on this... In cases under Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, they be deprived of the right of mercy petition. They do not need any such right.”

The remarks came on a day when Hyderabad police gunned down four men accused of rape and murder of a 25-year-old vet.

In another recent case, a rape survivor from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh was set alight by five men, including two of the accused, on Thursday when she was on her way to court. The woman has been battling for life at a hospital in Delhi with 90 per cent burn injuries.

“It is true that when you make a boy educated, it gives benefit to one family but when you make a girl educated, its benefit goes to two families. Another important fact is that the children of an educated woman do not remain uneducated,” said President Kovind.

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