New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the petition filed by Nirbhaya case convict Mukesh Singh against the rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind. A three-judge bench of the top court, comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna will hear the plea at 12:30 PM today. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: 'Top Priority if...,' Says SC as Convict Asks Court to 'Urgently' List His Mercy Plea
The mercy plea was filed by Mukesh on January 14 after the rejection of his curative petition by the apex court. The President, however, rejected the mercy plea on January 17, making him move court against the same. Also Read - Hanging to be Delayed Again? Nirbhaya Gangrape Convict Mukesh Moves SC Over Mercy Plea Rejection
Earlier, on Monday, the 32-year-old Mukesh, through his counsel, sought an ‘urgent hearing’ on his plea. “If someone is going to be hanged, there is nothing more urgent than this. Execution case will be given priority,” responded Chief Justice SA Bobde, who was heading a bench which also comprised Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: Delhi Court Disposes of Convicts' Plea Against Tihar Jail; 'Delaying Tactics,' Says Prosecution
Of the remaining three convicts on death row-Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur-while Vinay’s curative petition was rejected along with Mukesh’s, Pawan and Akshay are yet to move court or file mercy plea. Vinay’s only option is the mercy plea while Mukesh has exhausted all his options.
The Patiala House Court had on January 25 dismissed a plea by Vinay, Akshay and Pawan alleging that the Tihar Jail authorities were not giving them papers, because of which they were not being able to file a corrective plea in the top court.
The four death row convicts were earlier scheduled to be executed at 7 AM on January 22, as per a death warrant issued by a trial court earlier this month. The execution, however, had to be postponed due to Mukesh’s mercy plea. As per prison rules, a death row convict can only be hanged 14 days after the rejection of his mercy plea.
As per a new death warrant, the four will now be executed at 6 AM on February 1.