Nirbhaya convict files mercy plea, moves HC against date in death warrant

Nirbhaya case: SC dismisses two convicts' curative petitions against death penalty
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New Delhi: One of the convicts in the sensational Delhi gangrape case of 2012, Mukesh Kumar, on Tuesday, filed a mercy petition to President Ram Nath Kovind against his death penalty.

The petition was filed after the Supreme Court dismissed the curative petitions filed by him and another convict in Nirbhaya gang rape case.

According to Live Law, Kumar also challenged the death warrant issued by the Sessions Court last week in the Delhi High Court. The petition points out that the death warrant issued prior to the filing of the mercy petition was not legally tenable.

Following the Shatrughan Chauhan versus Union of India case, the apex court had ordered that death row convicts must be given a minimum of 14 days after the rejection of the mercy petition.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan heard the curative petitions filed by Vinay Sharma (26) and Mukesh Kumar (32) at 1:45 pm on Tuesday.

The petitions were decided in-chambers by the judges. It was the last and final legal remedy available to the convicts.

Mukesh Kumar and Vinay Sharma had filed curative petitions in the apex court on Thursday.

Two other death-row convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25), against whom death warrants have been issued by a Delhi court, have not filed curative petitions.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

A Delhi court had on Tuesday issued death warrants against the four convicts and said they would be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail.

The Supreme Court had in 2017 upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and a trial court.

One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

On July 9, 2018, the apex court had dismissed the review pleas filed by three of the convicts in the case, saying no grounds had been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.

(With inputs from PTI)

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