Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde on Monday observed that the petition of the death-row convicts should be listed on “top priority”. This came as Mukesh Singh, one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case sought an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court on his plea against the dismissal of his mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind earlier today.

Directing the counsel of Mukesh to approach the Supreme Court Registry for urgent listing of his plea against rejection of mercy petition by the President, the bench headed by the CJI said: “If somebody is going to be hanged on February 1, then nothing can be more urgent than this.”

“Execution case will be given top priority,” the bench said.

The bench also comprised Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.

Death-row convict in the 2012 Nirbhaya murder and gangrape case Mukesh Kumar Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking urgent hearing on his plea against the dismissal of his mercy petition by the President.

The mercy plea of 32-year-old Singh was dismissed by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 17.

Singh had earlier on Saturday filed a review petition under Article 32 for the judicial review of the rejection of mercy plea in the backdrop of the apex court verdict in the Shatrughan Chauhan case.

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on January 17 issued a fresh death warrant against the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case, who will now be executed at 6 am on February 1.

According to a January 7 order, the convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Thakur Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) — who were found guilty in the rape and murder of a Delhi medical student, were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.

The 23-year-old victim, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was brutally gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, inside a running bus in south Delhi by six persons, which later led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder.

Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petitions.

The fifth accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while a sixth accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.