Nirbhaya Case: Supreme Court Order on Convict's Plea Challenging Mercy Plea Rejection Tomorrow
File image of Supreme Court (Photo Credits: IANS)

New Delhi, January 28: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its order on a petition filed Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder convict -- Mukesh Kumar Singh -- challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice R Banumathi and also comprising Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Ashok Bhushan heard the arguments in the matter today and will pronounce its order at 10.30 am tomorrow.

Four people -- Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma, and Akshay Kumar Singh -- are facing execution on February 1 in the matter.Advocate Anjana Prakash, appearing on behalf of Mukesh, alleged that her client was physically and sexually assaulted in Tihar jail and put under solitary confinement. "He (Mukesh) was forced to have intercourse with Akshay (another death row convict in the case) in Tihar jail," said the advocate. Nirbhaya Case: Convict Mukesh Singh Was 'Sexually Assaulted' in Tihar Jail, Alleges Lawyer in Supreme Court.

The counsel said that the "Presidential pardon is a Constitutional duty of great responsibility, which must be exercised keeping in mind greater good of the people".

"Solitary confinement and procedural lapses are the grounds for considering this case ... Undue delay in hearing the petition and the due and prescribed procedure was not followed in this case," advocate Anjana told the court.She said that the documents were placed before the President of India without application of mind.

"I am not challenging the judicial verdict. The judicial verdict stands as it is. The courts can't go into as how it was rejected, but the president can certainly go into the merits of the case," she added. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Delhi government, said that even death convicts have to be treated fairly under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution but opposed the plea of the death row convict.

"Delay can be a ground for considering a case, but expeditious disposal of case/petition, it can't be a ground for challenging this before the court," Mehta told the court.He highlighted that the trial court, Delhi High court, and the Supreme Court had awarded and upheld the death penalty to the convicts in the case while considering their medical condition.

"Sometimes, the medical health and condition of a death row convict deteriorate so much so that the death penalty can't be awarded to those death row convicts, but in this case, the medical condition of this convict is fine," Mehta added. Tihar Jail Performs Dummy Execution Ahead of February 1 Hanging.

The 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus on December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. One of the accused, out of five adult accused, Ram Singh had committed suicide in the Tihar jail during the trial of the case.