Hours after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) forwarded the petition to the president, Mukesh Singh’s mercy plea petition was rejected by the President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday. Mukesh Singh, one of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case filed his mercy petition two days ago followed by the Delhi court issuing a death warrant. The High Court refused to hear the convict’s petition challenging the death warrant, asking him to approach the trial court. None of the four convicts can be executed on January 22 unless the mercy plea is decided, the court was told. With the Supreme Court rejecting the curative petition filed by Mukesh, the convict lost the last chance judicial remedy available by the court of law besides the option of seeking mercy from the President.
While the convict filed a mercy plea, he had informed the Delhi High Court that President of India and he should be given a minimum 14 days notice between the rejection of his mercy petition and scheduled date of execution. However, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday rejected the plea followed by the ministry’s and lieutenant governor of Delhi’s recommendation. Delhi government has been facing allegations over deliberately neglecting the execution. “Why did Delhi government not give notice to the convicts for filing mercy plea in the last 2 and half years?” asked the senior BJP leader over the delayed process.