The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed the petition of death row convict Mukesh Kumar Singh in the Nirbhaya case challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the President, and said that its “quick consideration” and “swift rejection” does not suggest non-application of mind or it being pre-determined.
The apex court held that all the documents, including the verdicts delivered in the case by the courts, past criminal history of convict, economic condition of his family, were taken into consideration by the President while rejecting the mercy plea.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, said that alleged sufferings in jail cannot be a ground to seek judicial review of executive order passed under Article 72 of the Constitution, which deals with power of President to grant pardons and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
“In the result, we do not find any ground for exercise of judicial review of the order of the President of India rejecting the petitioner’s (Mukesh) mercy petition and this petition is liable to be dismissed,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna.
It observed that
documents including DNA and odontology reports, dying declaration, case diary
and charge sheet of the case were already considered by the trial court, high
court as well as the apex court and the defence put forth by Mukesh was already
rejected. The bench did not accept the contentions of the convict’s counsel
that Mukesh was allegedly kept in solitary confinement for over eight