One of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, Vinay Sharma, on Friday approached the Delhi High Court claiming that there were procedural lapses and "constitutional irregularities" in the rejection of his mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The petition on Sharma's behalf was moved by his lawyer A P Singh who said the matter has been filed in the high court registry.
The plea claims that the recommendation sent to the President to reject the mercy plea did not contain the signature of Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain.
Vinay's mercy plea was rejected by the President on February 1.
According to the petition, when the issue was raised before the Supreme Court, the Centre had contended that Mr Jain's signature was obtained on Whatsapp.
It further claims that when the mercy plea was moved the model code of conduct (MCC) was in force and Jain was only a MLA candidate at that point of time as polls had been announced and therefore, he could not have exercised the power of Home Minister.
"To reject the mercy petition, the powers used are illegal, unconstitutional, a miscarriage of justice and also miscarriage of constitutional values of Election Commission of India," the petition has alleged.
The plea seeks an "order of direction in the nature of a certiorari in connection with the Constitutional irregularities that occurred during the MCC in National Capital Territory of Delhi by the respondents/concerned responsible persons. Please (take) appropriate legal cognisance on the petitioner's petition as soon as possible, because the motto of our Constitution is access to justice for all".
A Delhi court on March 5 issued death warrants for execution of the four convicts -- Vinay (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31), Mukesh Kumar Singh (32) and Pawan Kumar Gupta (26) -- on March 20.
Nirbhaya is the name given to the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern who was raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in Delhi by six people in December 2012.
She had boarded the nearly vacant bus in Munirka in South Delhi along with her male friend on her way back home on December 16 that year. After raping and brutalising the woman and beating her friend, the assailants had thrown them out of the bus.
After receiving initial treatment in New Delhi for a few days, she was shifted to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where she succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012.