One of the four convicts of Nirbhaya rape case, Mukesh, has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the death order issued by the Sessions Judge Satish Arora on December 7.
As per the death warrant, the four convicts are scheduled to be hanged on January 22, 7 am.
Filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the petition challenges the issuance of death warrant on the ground that the convicts are still left with the remedy of seeking mercy from the President of India.
It states that as per the law laid down by the apex court in Shatrughan Chauhan v. Union of India, the death row convicts must be given a notice of minimum 14 days after their mercy plea is rejected by the President.
Therefore, the petition seeks directions to be issued to Union Government, Delhi Government, Inspector General of Prisons, and Jail Superintendent (Tihar), ensure that at least fourteen days notice is given to the Petitioner and his family about the scheduled date of execution if the Petitioner's mercy petition is rejected by the Hon'ble President of India.
He also submitted that through this petition he is not questioning the final verdict of the Hon'ble Supreme Court or the fitness of the imposition of the death penalty, or any action / inaction by the Hon'ble President of India.
Further, it is argued that as per the Supreme Court's judgment in Shabnam v. Union of India, seeking mercy from the President is the constitutional right of a death row convict.
It is also highlighted that secret executions that took place prior to the Supreme Court's guidelines in Shatrughan Chauhan, namely in the cases of Ajmal Kasab (21st November 2012) and Afzal Guru (9th February 2013) is no longer possible in view of the jurisprudence and guidelines laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Shatrughan Chauhan.
He, therefore, claims that his right to seek mercy will be rendered infructuous if the order issuing the death warrant is not stayed.