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Nirbhaya case: SC dismisses convict Mukesh's plea against no mercy petition by President
1/29/2020 11:33:12 AM
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition of 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder convict Mukesh Kumar Singh against the rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind saying there is no merit in the contention. The apex court stated that the alleged torture can't be ground and all documents were placed before the President and he had taken them into consideration.The convict had approached the top court on January 27 (Monday) seeking urgent hearing on his plea against the dismissal of his mercy petition. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice R Banumathi along with Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Ashok Bhushan heard the arguments on January 28 (Tuesday). The four convicts, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma, and Akshay Kumar Singh, are facing execution on February 1 in the gang-rape case.

Advocate Anjana Prakash, appearing on behalf of Mukesh, alleged that her client was physically and sexually assaulted in Tihar jail and put under solitary confinement, adding, "He (Mukesh) was forced to have intercourse with Akshay (another death row convict in the case) in Tihar jail."

The counsel told the court that the "Presidential pardon is a Constitutional duty of great responsibility, which must be exercised keeping in mind greater good of the people", adding "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."

She said that the documents were placed before the President of India without application of mind. "I am not challenging the judicial verdict. The judicial verdict stands as it is. The courts can`t go into as how it was rejected, but the president can certainly go into the merits of the case," she added.

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, adding "Delay can be a ground for considering a case, but expeditious disposal of case/petition, it can`t be a ground for challenging this before the court."

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.

Earlier, Mukesh Singh had moved the mercy petition before the President after the apex court had dismissed his curative petition against his death sentence. The court had also dismissed the curative petition of another death row convict, Akshay Thakur.

The lower court has issued the warrant for the execution of death sentence for the convicts in the case that has been fixed for February 1 at 6 am. The other two convicts, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma are yet to file curative petitions before the Supreme Court.

A 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gang-raped by six men (including a juvenile) in a moving bus in the national capital on a chilly night on December 16, 2012.

Another convict Akshay on January 28 filed a curative petition in the SC, informed Tihar Jail officials.
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