Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde on Monday asked counsel for Nirbhaya gangrape convict Mukesh Singh to approach the Supreme Court registry for urgent listing of the condemned man’s plea against the President’s rejection of his mercy petition on January 17.
The Chief Justice orally observed that the plea of a man, whose execution is scheduled for February 1, ought to be given top priority.
The petition, filed under Article 32 of the Constitution, has sought a stay of the execution of the death warrant. The Sessions Court had ordered the death sentence to be carried out on February 1.
Mukesh has asked the court to call for his medical records, dating back to the time of his arrest and incarceration, which were placed before the President for a decision on his mercy plea. He has also sought for the jail records of his solitary confinement. Death row convicts are placed in solitary confinement.
This development comes shortly after the Supreme Court had rejected a juvenility plea made by another Nirbhaya convict Pawan Kumar Gupta. Pawan had claimed he was a juvenile at the time of the crime.
The Supreme Court had also recently dismissed a review petition filed by another one of the four condemned men, Akshay Singh, to review its May 5, 2017 judgment confirming death penalty in the case.
Akshay, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay had brutally gangraped a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012. She died of her injuries a few days later.
An accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.
The Centre has recently moved an application for fixing strict guidelines for carrying out of death sentences, saying that convicts tend to misuse the legal process by repeatedly filing a variety of pleas in the court.
The Chief Justice had recently observed orally that death row convicts could not seek legal remedies endlessly and it was important that death penalty reaches finality.