A Delhi court on Tuesday reserved its order on plea of Mukesh Singh, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, seeking quashing of his death penalty.
Mukesh Singh on Monday moved a court in Delhi seeking quashing of death penalty, claiming he was not in Delhi on the date of the crime and further alleged that he was tortured inside the Tihar jail.
The plea filed before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana claimed that on December 16, 2012, Mukesh Singh was not in Delhi at the time when the crime took place and was arrested from Rajasthan and brought to Delhi on December 17, 2012.
The public prosecutor told the court that Mukesh Singh’s plea is frivolous and a tactic to delay the scheduled hanging.
Earlier, the Supreme Court on March 16, rejected the plea of convict Mukesh Singh, seeking restoration of all his legal remedies alleging that his earlier lawyers misled him.
The apex court bench consisting of Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah held Singh’s plea as not maintainable saying that the review petition and the curative petition have both been dismissed in the case.
The convict had sought quashing of all orders passed by courts and the rejection of his mercy petition by the President since the day his curative petition was dismissed by the apex court on the ground that the earlier lawyer Vrinda Grover had misled him.
It bears recall that all the four convicts in the case were scheduled to be hanged on March 3 at Delhi’s Tihar Jail. However, the court decided to hear the lawyer of Pawan Kumar Gupta after it was informed that he has filed a mercy plea before the President of India after his curative petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court earlier in the day.which This was pronounced by a Delhi court on Monday evening.
A trial court issued fresh death warrants on March 5 against the four convicts Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Kumar Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) ordering their execution on March 20, 5.30 am.
The 23-year-old woman, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and assaulted on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case.
(With PTI inputs)