The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India

Quick consideration not ground for judicial review of Nirbhaya convict's mercy plea rejection: SC

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2020 17:01 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 29 (ANI): The quick consideration of the mercy petition and swift rejection thereof cannot be a ground for judicial review of the President's order rejecting the mercy plea of Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case convict Mukesh Kumar Singh, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi and comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna dismissed the petition filed by the convict challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.
"The quick consideration of the mercy petition and swift rejection of the same cannot be a ground for judicial review of the order passed under Article 72/161 of the Constitution. Nor does it suggest that there were pre-determined mind and non-application of mind," the apex court said in the order.
The court said that it shall keep in mind that where the power is vested in very high authority, it must be presumed that the said authority would act carefully after an objective consideration of all the aspects of the matter.
One of the death row convicts, Mukesh Kumar Singh had moved the Supreme Court challenging the rejection of the mercy petition by the President of India and sought commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.
"As pointed out earlier, the note put up before the President of India is a detailed one and that all the relevant materials were placed before the President of India and upon consideration of the same, the mercy petition was rejected," the Supreme Court said.
"Merely because there a was quick consideration and rejection of the petitioner's mercy petition, it cannot be assumed that the matter was preceded with the pre-determined mind," added the top court.
The court said that delay in disposal of mercy petition may be a ground calling for judicial review of the order passed under Article 72/161 of the Constitution but added that it does not find any such ground in this case.
It noted that while the petitioner has alleged that he was put under solitary confinement for eight months and nine days, in violation of the principles of the Sunil Batra, the Centre and Delhi government have refuted the claims.
In his affidavit, Director General, Prisons, has denied the averment that the petitioner was kept in solitary confinement.
Four people -- Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma, and Akshay Kumar Singh -- are facing execution on February 1 in the matter.
The case pertains to the gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the chilling night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.
One of the five adult accused, Ram Singh, had committed suicide in the Tihar jail during the trial of the case. (ANI)

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