President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Friday rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh Singh, one of the four men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, sources said.
The rejection came soon after the Union Home Ministry forwarded the petition to the president on Friday morning.
"It's a very good thing. Our hopes have gone up after the disheartening news that the execution might be delayed," the young woman's father told PTI as news came in of the rejection.
Mukesh had filed his mercy petition two days ago.
The four convicts -- Mukesh (32), Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) -- were to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail, a Delhi court had announced on January 7 while issuing their death warrants.
However, the Delhi government informed the high court during a hearing that the execution of the convicts will not take place on the day as a mercy plea had been filed by Mukesh.
"The Home Ministry has forwarded the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh to the President. The ministry has reiterated the recommendation of the lieutenant governor of Delhi for its rejection," a Home Ministry official said on Friday morning. Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's office sent Mukesh Singh's mercy petition to the Home Ministry on Thursday, a day after the Delhi government recommended its rejection.