New Delhi: Soon after president Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy plea filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape case, Pawan Gupta, approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Delhi high court order of December 19. Also Read - Why Will Delhi Govt Delay? What Was There in Our Hand? Says Arvind Kejriwal on Execution of Nirbhaya Rapists

Gupta, in his plea, alleged that he was a juvenile in 2012 and should be tried accordingly.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court had rejected the curative plea of Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma. A five judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana and comprising justices Arun Mishra, RF Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan found no merit in the petitions.

Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta were to be hanged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail at 7 am on January 22, the trial court judge had declared last week, signing a death warrant seven years after a young paramedic student was gangraped by 6 people on a moving bus in national capital on Dec 16, 2012.

But Tihar jail officials reportedly told the high court the hanging of the convicts could not take place on the designated day as a mercy plea had been filed by Mukesh. Earlier in the day, the President’s office in ‘lightning speed’, rejected his petition.

What happened on Dec 16, 2012? 

On the intervening night of December 16 and December 17, 2012, Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old paramedic student, was brutally gang-raped and assaulted inside a moving bus near nationa capital’s Munirka area by six persons before being dumped on the road. Two weeks later on December 29, she succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

Within 48 hours of the crime, the Delhi police arrested all the six accused and charged them with sexual assault and murder.

While the prime accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide inside Tihar Jail, one of the convicts, a minor, who was just short of 18 when the crime took place appeared before the juvenile justice court and released after three years in a reform home.