25 January 2020
New Delhi: A death-row convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case on Saturday moved the Supreme Court seeking judicial review of his mercy petition, which was rejected by the President.
On January 17, the President rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh Kumar Singh (32). Now he has 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.
A Delhi court has issued death warrant for the four convicts at 6 a.m. on February 1.
Mukesh had moved the mercy petition after the apex court dismissed his curative petition against conviction and death sentence. It also dismissed the curative petition of Vinay Kumar, another convict.
A five-judge Bench, comprising Justices N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra, R.F. Nariman, R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, unanimously held that there was no merit in the curative petitions of convicts, who sought reconsideration of the death penalty.
"In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this court in the Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra & another case, reported in 2002 (4) SCC 388. Hence, the curative petitions are dismissed," the court said.
The curative petitions were taken up in-chambers, without presence of the convicts' lawyers, by the Bench headed by Justice Ramana. The in-chambers review is the procedure to consider curative and review petitions.
The Bench also dismissed the plea to stay execution of the death sentence. "The applications for oral hearing are rejected. The applications for a stay of execution of death sentence are also rejected," said the court.
Six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder of a 23-year-old woman on December 16, 2012. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another committed suicide in Tihar Jail.
The four convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013. It was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld in May 2017 by the Supreme Court, which also dismissed their review petitions.