Nirbhaya Convict Files Petition in SC Challenging Mercy Plea Rejection

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One of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case, Mukesh Kumar Singh challenged the rejection of his mercy plea by the President Ram Nath Kovind in the Supreme Court on Saturday and sought dismissal of the death warrant scheduled to be carried out on February 1.

Mukesh Singh’s lawyer Vrinda Grover said, “A petition has been filed under Article 32 for judicial review of the manner of rejection of the mercy petition in terms of the judgment of Supreme Court in Shatrughan Chauhan case.”

Mukesh Singh had filed a mercy petition after the curative petitions of two of the convicts were rejected earlier this month and their death warrant issued for January 22. The Delhi government, seeking fresh dates for their execution, had told the High Court the move was made to “frustrate the process of law”.

After President Ram Nath Kovind dismissed Mukesh Singh’s mercy plea last week, fresh death warrants were issued for 6 am on February 1.

Nirbhaya’s parents are among those who have denounced the delayed execution of the convicts.

A Delhi court today dismissed the petition filed by the lawyers of the convicts alleging the Tihar prison authorities were not handing over documents required to file mercy and curative petitions, news agency PTI reported. This was after the prosecutor told the court that the convicts were adopting “delaying tactics”.

Earlier this week, the central government approached the Supreme Court for a change in guidelines in death row cases so convicts cannot keep delaying the sentence by exploiting legal options. The current rules are skewed towards convicts and allow them to “play with the law and delay the execution,” the center said in its petition.

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