On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India dismissed the plea filed by one of the 4 convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya Rape Case – Mukesh Kumar Singh – who is on death row as he challenged the rejection of his Mercy Petition by the Honorable President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.
Also Read: Nirbhaya Rape Case: Supreme Court Hears Convict’s Petition, Days Before Hanging
The three judge bench of the Supreme Court which was headed by Justice R Banumathi, and had Justices A S Bopanna, and Ashok Bhushan said that speedy disposal of any mercy plea by the President of India does not mean that there was a “non application of mind” by him. Adding to this, the apex court said that the “alleged” sufferings of a convict in jail cannot be grounds to challenge the rejection of his/her mercy plea.
The three judge bench said that all the relevant, and necessary documents – including judgments given by the Trial Court, High Court, and the Supreme Court – were provided to the President while he considered the mercy plea.
The bench said that the detailed judgment of all three courts – Trial, High, and Supreme Courts – including the curative petitions filed by Mukesh, his family background, and even his past criminal record were sent to the Home Ministry by the Delhi Government. “All the documents were taken into consideration by the President while rejecting the mercy petition”.
Mukesh’s lawyer also argued on the point that his client’s mercy plea was declined at “lightning speed” to which the court replied that the speed of the decision cannot be linked with the non application of mind.
Why It Is Unlikely That The 4 Convicts Will Be Hanged On 1st February 2020
Even after all this, and speedy process, the hanging of convicts in the Nirbhaya Case might not happen on the 1st of February.
Today, one of the 4 convicts in the Nirbhaya Gang Rape and Murder Case – Akshay Singh – filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court, challenging his hanging. He is not the third convict to do so (Apart from Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh). As an aftermath of the curative petition, it is very likely that the execution of the 4 convicts may be postponed once again. Pawan Gupta is still left with his legal course of the curative petition.
Earlier, the Supreme Court dismissed his petition to spare him of the death penalty with his bizarre arguments saying that Delhi’s water and air quality will anyway reduce his lifespan and in Kalyug, a person is nothing more than a dead body, hence, awarding death penalty is futile.
Now, he has filed a curative petition, his last legal resort, to challenge his petition. Given the date of his petition, it is likely that the petition will be heard in chambers instead of in an open court room, but even if his petition will be dismissed, he can file a mercy petition with the President of India.
Why The Convicts Cannot Be Hanged Separately?
Now people have been saying that they should be hanged separately, as and when a convict’s legal course exhausts, but that cannot be done, as in 1982 the Supreme Court decided that death row convicts which are involved in a single crime incident cannot be hanged separately. The case was Harbansh Singh VS The State Of Uttar Pradesh, wherein a similar thing happened.