Mukesh Kumar Singh, one of the 4 death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya ganrape and murder case, has approached a Delhi court seeking postponement of the date of his execution on the ground that his mercy petition is pending with the President of India. The court will hear the matter at 2 pm on Thursday.
The plea was mentioned before Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora who has issued notice to the state and parents of the Nirbhaya for Thursday. The court asked the counsel for Mukesh to supply an advance copy of the plea to the prosecutor. Mukesh's counsel moved the trial court immediately after the Delhi High Court declined to entertain his plea to set aside the January 7 order issuing his death warrant and asked them to approach the lower court.
"There is nothing wrong with the trial court's order," the High Court said.
During the hearing in Delhi High Court, the state government said the execution "will surely not take place" on January 22 because of a mercy plea filed by one of them. The bench was informed by the Delhi government and the Centre that the petition filed by Mukesh, challenging his death warrant, was premature. The Delhi government and the prison authorities said that under the rules, they will have to wait for the mercy plea to be decided before executing the death warrant.
Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta are to be hanged next Wednesday at 7 am in Tihar jail, according to the current death warrant. After the Supreme Court dismissed his curative petition on Tuesday, Mukesh Singh had moved a mercy petition before the President on the same day.
Meanwhule, the Delhi government had recommended rejecting the mercy plea filed by Mukesh Singh, sources said. They said the recommendation on the mercy plea of 32-year-old Singh will now be sent to the Union Home Ministry. The recommendation comes a day after Singh filed the petition.
The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.