SC dismisses Nirbhaya convict Mukesh Singh's petition

SC dismisses Nirbhaya convict Mukesh Singh's petition

Supreme Court of India. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case convict Mukesh Kumar Singh against President's decision of January 17 to reject his mercy petition.

The four convicts are scheduled to be executed on February 1.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna said the plea was without merit and was liable to be dismissed as the "quick" decision was taken after due consideration of all relevant materials.

We have gone through the files of the Delhi NCT government, Ministry of Home Affairs, all relevant documents, including judgements, and report on the history and economic conditions of the convicts that were sent to the President for consideration, Justice Bhanumathi said, reading excerpts of the judgement.

After taking into consideration all materials, facts and circumstances, the President rejected the mercy petition. There is no merit in the contention that the relevant materials were not provided to the Constitutional authority, she added.

With regard to the convict's claims that he was beaten up and underwent everyday sufferings, including sexual assault inside the prison, the court said it can't be a ground to review the decision taken under Article 72 (power of the President to grant pardon, commute and remit sentences) of the Constitution.

The court also rejected the claim that matter was the verdict was decided in lightning speed. "Merely because there was a quick decision, we can't say it was decided on a predetermined mind," the bench said.

The judgement in the matter was reserved on Tuesday.

The case of gang rape and murder of 23-year-old paramedic student in a moving bus on December 15-16, 2012 had caused massive outrage, forcing the government to bring the Criminal Amendment Act, 2013, enhancing punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault, among others.

The top court had already dismissed review petitions of all convicts and curative petitions in case of two against the judgement, upholding the death penalty awarded to them.

On January 17, President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the mercy plea by Mukesh, soon after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) forwarded him the petition.

A Delhi court had on January 17 issued fresh death warrants against the four convicts -- Mukesh (32) Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) -- fixing February 1 at 6 am as the date and time of their hanging. The court had earlier on January 7 directed for their hanging on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail. However, it could not happen due to filing of mercy petition by Mukesh.