New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its verdict over Nirbhaya case convict Mukesh Singh’s plea in the top court in which he challenged the rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind.
A three-judge bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, which took up the death row convict’s plea, will deliver the verdict today, a day after reserving its order on his plea. Mukesh had, on January 25, challenged in the court the President’s decision to dismiss his mercy plea.
He had filed his mercy plea on January 14. It was rejected by President Kovind just three days later.
However, in a stunning development during hearing in the top court on Tuesday, Anjana Prakash, Mukesh’s lawyer, alleged that he was ‘repeatedly sexually assaulted in jail.’ She also claimed he was kept in solitary confinement even before his mercy petition was rejected.
This, she added, was against prison rules.
“You are playing with someone’s life. You have to apply your mind,” she said when the court rejected Mukesh’s request to show documents to the President that he claimed would prove that he was ‘beaten and sexually assaulted’ in jail.
In a related development, Akshay Thakur, another convict on death row in the case, filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court, leaving Pawan Gupta, whose claims of juvenility were earlier quashed by the court, as the only one among the four convicts yet to file a curative petition. Vinay Sharma, the fourth convict, had filed his curative petition along with Mukesh, which too was rejected.
Earlier this month, a trial court had issued a death warrant against the four convicts, scheduling their hanging for 7 AM on January 22. The hanging, however, was delayed due to Mukesh filing mercy plea with the President. As per prison rules, a death row convict can only be hanged 14 days after the rejection of his mercy petition.
As per a new death warrant, the four will now be executed at 6 AM on February 1 at Tihar Jail.