Two of the Nirbhaya rape cases, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Kumar Singh, have already exhausted their option for a curative petition before the Supreme Court against their assigned death penalty, while the other two – Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh – have yet to approach the Supreme Court with their curative plea.
Earlier this week, after rejecting the top court, Mukesh condemned a request for mercy against his pending death sentence for the president.
Mukesh was also the only convict who approached the Supreme Court of Delhi against the death sentence issued to him. However, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to submit his petition on the grounds that he should have moved the court or the top court.
After this, Mukesh approached the court in Delhi to postpone the date of his execution on the grounds that his mercy petition is pending before the president.
Hearing Mukesh’s plea, the High Court expressed its dissatisfaction with the “strategy” adopted by the four prisoners of death row to postpone the execution process.
It had asked counsel for convicted Mukesh why he waited two and a half years and did not submit any curative or mercy requests after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal against conviction and confirmed the death penalty awarded to him by the court.
The Supreme Court had also suspended the prison authorities because of the delay on their part and did not inform the convicted persons that they can submit grave questions after their appeals were rejected by the Supreme Court in 2017.
It noted that the announcement given to the convicted on October 29 and December 18, 2019 by the prison authorities who asked the convicted to relocate their forces of grace should have been made much earlier.
Delhi’s permanent lawyer (criminal) Rahul Mehra, who represented the prison authorities, argued that the delay was due to the fact that one of the convicts – Akshay – had not submitted his review request until 2019 and was not rejected until December 18 .
Mr. Mehra argued that unless all four convicts exhausted their remedy for mercy, according to the rules, the prison authorities cannot proceed. The Delhi court is scheduled to hear Mukesh’s plea for the postponement of the death sentence on Friday.
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