One of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case, Mukesh Kumar Singh, on Saturday challenged the rejection of his mercy petition by the President in the Supreme Court, and sought dismissal of the death warrant scheduled to be carried out on February 1.
"A petition has been filed under Article 32 for judicial review of the manner of rejection of the mercy petition in terms of the judgement of Supreme Court in Shatrughan Chauhan case," Mukesh Singh's lawyer Vrinda Grover said.
Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta - the death row convicts- are among the six men who gangraped and murdered a 23-year-old Delhi student in a moving bus in 2012. One man was found hanging in his jail cell and the sixth, the youngest, just short of 18 at the time, was released after three years in a reform home.
After the curative petitions of two of the convicts were rejected earlier this month and their death warrant issued for January 22, Mukesh Singh had filed a mercy petition. The Delhi government, seeking fresh dates for their execution, had told the High Court the move was made to "frustrate the process of law".
After President Ram Nath Kovind dismissed Mukesh Singh's mercy plea last week, fresh death warrants for 6 am, February 1 were issued.
Nirbhaya's parents are among those who have denounced the delayed execution of the convicts.
A Delhi court today dismissed the petition filed by the lawyers of the convicts alleging the Tihar prison authorities were not handing over documents required to file mercy and curative petitions, news agency PTI reported. This was after the prosecutor told the court that the convicts were adopting "delaying tactics".
Earlier this week, the central government approached the Supreme Court for a change in guidelines in death row cases so convicts cannot keep delaying the sentence by exploiting legal options. The current rules are skewed towards convicts and allows them to "play with the law and delay execution," the centre said in its petition.