SC order on Nirbhaya convict’s plea challenging mercy plea rejection today


New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its order on a petition filed by Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder convict — Mukesh Kumar Singh — challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind.

A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice R Banumathi and also comprising Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Ashok Bhushan had heard the arguments in the matter on Tuesday and will pronounce its order at 10.30 am today.

Four people — Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma, and Akshay Kumar Singh — are facing execution on February 1 in the matter.

Advocate Anjana Prakash, appearing on behalf of Mukesh, has alleged that her client was physically and sexually assaulted in Tihar jail and put under solitary confinement.

The counsel said that the “Presidential pardon is a Constitutional duty of great responsibility, which must be exercised keeping in mind greater good of the people”.

“Solitary confinement and procedural lapses are the grounds for considering this case … Undue delay in hearing the petition and the due and prescribed procedure was not followed in this case,” advocate Anjana told the court.
She said that the documents were placed before the President of India without application of mind.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Delhi government, said that even death convicts have to be treated fairly under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution but opposed the plea of the death row convict.

He highlighted that the trial court, Delhi High court, and the Supreme Court had awarded and upheld the death penalty to the convicts in the case while considering their medical condition.

The 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus on December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. One of the accused, out of five adult accused, Ram Singh had committed suicide in the Tihar jail during the trial of the case. (ANI)