New Delhi, December 6: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday recommended President Ram Nath Kovind to reject the mercy petition of one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape murder case. The convict, Vinay Sharma, had pleaded before the President to commute his execution and reduce it to life imprisonment. POCSO Act Convicts Must Not be Allowed to File Mercy Petitions: President Ram Nath Kovind.

The Centre, in its file sent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan today, said the President is recommended to reject the mercy plea. With his petition set to be discarded, decks have been cleared for the execution of Sharma. He, along with three others, was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2017.

While Sharma had petitioned the President for mercy, second convict Mukesh refused to make and appeal and accepted the court's decision to execute him. The third convict, Ram Singh, had hanged himself in jail whereas the fourth convict, Akshay Thakur, is yet to file a review plea.

Update by ANI

The MHA's recommendation to reject the mercy plea comes days after the same was turned down by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the advise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led state government.

The President, while addressing a public event on Friday, also said that the Centre must no longer accept mercy petitions of those convicted under the POCSO (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.

The Centre, as well as the state governments, are under heightened pressure on the issue of women security. A nationwide outrage has erupted over the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad. Amid the outrage, the four accused of the heinous crime were gunned down in an "encounter" by the police in the wee hours of Friday.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 06, 2019 03:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website