Bengaluru: The Supreme Court Monday rejected the plea of Mukesh Singh, one of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, seeking restoration of all his legal remedies alleging that his earlier lawyers misled him. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah held Singh's plea as not maintainable saying that the review petition and the curative petition have both been dismissed in the case.

The convict had sought quashing of all orders passed by courts and the rejection of his mercy petition by the President since the day his curative petition was dismissed by the apex court on the ground that the earlier lawyer Vrinda Grover had misled him.

The plea, filed through advocate M L Sharma, sought a CBI probe into alleged "criminal conspiracy" and "fraud" hatched by the Centre, the Delhi government and advocate Vrinda Grover, who is the amicus curiae in the case.

It is also worthy to note that the other convicts - Akshay Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma - have approached the International Court of Justice seeking a stay on their execution.  

On March 5, a trial court issued fresh warrants with March 20, 5.30 am, as the date for the execution of the convicts - Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Singh (31).

With the rejection of the mercy plea by the President, all the four convicts had completely exhausted their legal tools to earn more days.
But counsel for the accused AP Singh had called it (the act of issuing new death warrants) as “judicial killing”.

In all, there were six men who were accused and convicted of gang-raping Nirbhaya. While one of them was a juvenile at the time of crime, he was let off after he served a three-year term at a juvenile home.

Out of the remaining five, one of them committed suicide, leaving behind Pawan, Vinay, Akshay and Mukesh to face the trial.

The heinous crime dates back to December 12 when the victim and her friend were travelling on a Delhi bus. The convicted people pounced upon her and unleashed unthinkable brutality, ultimately killing her.

Though she was flown to Singapore, the treatment did not fructify.

On the judicial front, there have been three postponements in relation to the hanging. The counsel for the convicts has effectively used the loopholes and jiggery-pokery in the law to earn more time for his clients.

But this time, it doesn’t seem like they can buy anymore time.