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Nirbhaya case: Mukesh files mercy plea before President after SC refuses stay on execution


NEW DELHI: One of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case who are to be hanged on January 22 filed a mercy plea before the President on Tuesday shortly after the Supreme Court refused to stay the execution of two of them including him.

The mercy plea was filed by 32-year-old Mukesh Singh, who along with Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25), are scheduled to be hanged at 7 am on January 22 in Tihar jail following an order by a Delhi court which issued their death warrants on January 7.

Mukesh and Vinay, who sought yet another legal remedy to escape the gallows, failed to get any relief when the Supreme Court dismissed their curative petitions against their conviction and capital punishment.

A curative petition is the last and final judicial remedy available to a person convicted by courts of law.

Akshay and Pawan have not filed any curative petitions yet but their lawyer said this will be done soon.

Moving the mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind, Mukesh also approached the Delhi High Court for quashing the death warrant.

The high court is expected to take up Mukesh's petition on Wednesday.

Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said Mukesh moved the mercy plea in the evening after his curative petition was dismissed by the apex court.

Advocate A P Singh, who is representing the convicts in the case, said he would also file curative petitions on behalf of the other two convicts--Akshay and Pawan-- in the apex court.

"I have sought details from Tihar Jail about the conduct of these convicts during their stay on the prison from 2012 till 2019. Once I will receive those details, I will file curative petitions for Akshay and Pawan," Singh told PTI.

Singh said that last week he had approached the jail authorities seeking details about conduct of these convicts in the prison but he has not been provided with it yet.

Singh said once he files all mercy petitions, he would bring it to the notice of the court so that the scheduled execution could be suspended.

The petition filed by Mukesh in the high court through advocate Vrinda Grover sought quashing of the death warrant on the grounds he has moved mercy petitions before the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the President of India.

Mukesh also sought stay of the execution warrant, saying otherwise his constitutional right to seek mercy would be rendered infructuous.