Hanging of rape convicts now features in poll discourse

Smriti Irani on delhi government, smriti irani on kejriwal government, smriti irani on december 16 gangrape hanging, Delhi assembly elections, nirbhaya gangrape hanging, delhi city news

Smriti blamed CM for delay. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Hours after the mercy petition of one of the convicts in the December 16 gang rape was rejected by the President, Union Minister Smriti Irani blamed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the delay in hanging the accused.

“I am aggrieved by the delaying tactics of Aam Aadmi Party. The Jail Department is under the jurisdiction of Delhi Government and the Supreme Court had rejected the review petitions of the convicts in July, 2018 itself but the jail administration and Kejriwal government suppressed the case. Delhi government’s advocate also tried to postpone the execution by citing procedural reasons in the court... Such a party should be ashamed,” she said.

The BJP has been consistently targetting AAP for “delaying” the execution of death penalty granted to the accused, saying that the Delhi government’s counsel did not object to procedural routes, such as filing curative and mercy petitions, that the convicts are taking.

A senior AAP official, meanwhile, said the Delhi government cannot curtail the rights given to them under the Constitution.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, said: “The hanging of the convicts has been delayed by a few days. It makes everyone, including us, sad. I am also sad that politics is being played over such a sensitive issue. Three days ago, Prakash Javadekar ji said the delay in execution was because of us. Today Smriti Irani ji said the same thing. Will the convicts be hanged by placing blame on each other? It will lead to nothing,” he said. “All parties, states and Centre have to work together to ensure such culprits are hanged within six months of conviction.”