Mukesh Singh, one of the death-row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, on Tuesday filed a mercy plea before President Ram Nath Kovind, PTI reported. This came hours after his curative petition against death penalty was rejected by the Supreme Court.
Singh, along with the other three convicts, is scheduled to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.
Singh also moved the Delhi High Court to set aside the death warrant issued by a trial court. His plea is listed for hearing on Wednesday before a bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.
Along with Singh’s, the curative petition of Vinay Sharma was also rejected by the top court. A five-judge bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan, Arun Mishra, RF Nariman, and NV Ramana did not find any merit in the pleas.
The other two convicts in the case are Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta.
The four men, and two others, raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012. She succumbed to injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore. The gangrape triggered huge protests across India.
One of the convicts died in prison, while a minor was sent to a detention home for juveniles. He was released in December 2015. The four others were awarded the death penalty by a trial court in September 2013. The ruling was upheld by the Delhi High Court six months later and the Supreme Court in May 2017.
Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta filed review petitions against the punishment, but the Supreme Court rejected them in July 2018. In December 2018, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking the immediate execution of the four. Akshay Kumar Singh filed a review plea last month, but it was also rejected by the top court.
In October, Tihar Jail officials informed the four convicts they had exhausted all their options for legal recourse, and were only left with the choice to file a mercy petition before the president of India. Their deadline was November 5. Of the four, only Vinay Sharma filed a petition. The Delhi government, however, recommended that his mercy petition be rejected.