Mukesh Kumar Singh's mercy plea was dismissed by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 17. (Photo Credit: PTI File Photo)
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to give urgent hearing to Nirbhaya convict Mukesh Singh’s plea against President Ram Nath Kovind’s order that had rejected his mercy plea. While agreeing for urgent hearing, Chief Justice of India Shard Arvind Bobde said, “If somebody is going to be executed on February 1, it is top priority." The Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India asked the convict’s counsel to approach the mentioning officer as the hanging is scheduled on February 1. The bench also comprised Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant. The warrant for execution of death sentence for the four convicts in the case has been fixed on February 1 at 6 am.
On Saturday, advocate Vrinda Grover, who is representing Singh said that, "A petition has been filed under Article 32 for judicial review of the manner of rejection of the mercy petition in terms of the judgement of Supreme Court in Shatrughan Chauhan case." The development came after the Centre moved the Supreme Court urging to seeking modification of the Shatrughan Chauhan judgment on rights available to death row convicts.
The Supreme Court recently dismissed the curative petitions of other two convicts—Vinay and Mukesh Singh (32). Mukesh’s mercy petition was rejected by the President earlier this month. The 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 she was thrown out on the road. She was flown to a hospital in Singapore where she died.
Earlier, perturbed over the constant delays and fresh appeals ahead of the execution, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi had said, “their (convicts) tactic to delay hanging has been rejected. I'll be satisfied only when they're hanged on Febraury 1. Just like they're delaying it one after other, they must be hanged one by one so that they understand what it means to toy with law.” The feisty mother who has fought for justice for her daughter has repeatedly said that execution of rapists is the only way of getting closure.
Earlier on Saturday, Nirbhaya’s mother had slammed senior advocate Indira Jaising saying that just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims. The hard-hitting statement from Asha Devi came after Indira Jaising urged her to pardon four convicts for the 2012 gangrape of her daughter.
Reacting to Indira Jaising’s suggestion, Asha Devi said, “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion. Whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims.”