A petition filed by 2012 Delhi gang rape convict Mukesh Singh against the presidential order rejecting his mercy plea has been rejected by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
A three-judge bench led by Justice R Banumathi ruled that Mukesh Singh’s argument that the government did not produce all relevant records before the President did not hold water.
The bench also kept aside Mukesh Singh’s references to the suffering and humiliation that he claimed to have faced in prison. “Suffering in the prison cannot be ground for challenging mercy powers exercised by the President,” the bench, also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, said.
A third argument centered around the speed at which the mercy petition was decided was also turned down. Between the Delhi government and the Home Ministry, the government had completed all the procedures relating to the rejection of Mukesh Singh within four days. It was a record, the fastest rejection of a mercy petition ever.
Rebutting Mukesh Singh’s in the top court on Tuesday, the government’s second most-senior law officer Tushar Mehta had pointed to the many judgments that had criticised delays in decisions on mercy petitions. It is the delay that has a dehumanising effect, Mehta said.
Mukesh Singh and his three other accomplices, who were convicted for the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student in a moving bus in Delhi in 2012, have been sentenced to death. A Delhi court has ordered the four of them to be executed on February 1.