In a fresh turn of events in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case on Saturday, one of the four convicts, Mukesh Kumar Singh, challenged the rejection of his mercy petition by the President in the Supreme Court.
In his petition, he also sought dismissal of the death warrant scheduled to carry out on February 1.
Mukesh Singh had filed a mercy petition to the President which he rejected, after which a fresh date of February 1 was decided for the execution of the four convicts.
“A petition has been filed under Article 32 for judicial review of the manner of rejection of the mercy petition in terms of the judgment of Supreme Court in Shatrughan Chauhan case,” NDTV quoted Mukesh Singh’s lawyer Vrinda Grover as saying.
Earlier in the month, the apex court had rejected the curative petitions filed by two of the convicts and January 22 was decided as the date for their execution.
On January 17, Mukesh had filed mercy petition which was rejected by the President and a new date for the execution was decided to be on February 1.
As per law, there should be a 14-day gap between the rejection of a death-row convict’s mercy petition and his execution. The new execution date is exactly 14 days from the date of rejection of plea.
Earlier in the day, a Delhi court had disposed of a plea by the lawyer of the death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, seeking additional documents after the court noted that no documents are pending and all the documents have been supplied.
The Patiala House court was hearing a plea filed by the Nirbhaya convicts that alleged that the Tihar Jail administration have “not presented the papers on time”.
Advocate AP Singh, lawyer for three of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case had moved an application before the court seeking directions to the Tihar Jail authorities to supply him the relevant documents in order to exercise the remaining legal remedies available with the death row convicts — Vinay Pawan and Akshay.
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.