The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the writ petition filed by Vinay Sharma, one of the four convicts awaiting execution of death penalty in the Nirbhaya case, against the President's order rejecting his petition seeking mercy under Article 72 of the Constitution of India.
"After objective perusal, we do not find any grounds in the petition. Accordingly the plea is dismissed", Justice R Banumathi read out the operative portion of the order.
A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna had reserved orders on the petition yesterday, after hearing Advocate A P Singh for the petitioner and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the Delhi police.
The bench observed that the contention that there was non application of mind by President cannot be accepted. The bench also rejected the contention that all relevant materials were not forwarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the President.
Vinay Sharma's writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India was filed on February 11, the last day of the seven days time granted by the Delhi High Court for the convicts to exhaust their available legal remedies.
The Supreme Court had on January 29 dismissed a similar writ petition filed by another convict, Mukesh Singh, against the rejection of mercy petition. A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi ,Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna held in that case that there was only a limited scope of judicial review over the Presidential order, and held that no ground was made out to interfere with the rejection order.
The convicts were scheduled to be executed on February 1 at 6 AM, as per an order issued by Patiala House court on January 17.
This order was stayed by trial court until further orders on January 31 on the ground that all the convicts have not exhausted their every legal remedies. Mercy petitions of two of the convicts were pending then. The trial court held that these convicts cannot be executed separately, as they were sentenced by a common order.
Though the Centre challenged this order before the Delhi High Court, the HC did not interfere with it. The HC, noting the "delaying tactics" adopted by the convicts, however directed that they should exhaust their remedies within seven days starting from February 5.