The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed the plea of Mukesh Singh, one of the four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, that challenged a trial court order which rejected his claim he was not in the national capital when the crime was committed on December 16, 2012.
Justice Brijesh Sethi said the various grounds, like Ram Singh could not have driven the bus in which the offence was committed as he was disabled and that Mukesh was tortured in jail, taken in the plea were "frivolous" and the intention was to delay the execution.
The high court said if Mukesh was tortured in jail, he had ample opportunities to raise the issue, especially when he met his relatives and this argument was being taken at this stage "only to delay the proceedings".
"These points ought to have been taken at the appropriate stage and at this belated stage, the argument has only been raised with an intention to delay
the execution of the sentence," the high court said.
On March 5, a trial court issued fresh warrants for hanging on March 20 at 5.30 am of all convicts in the case -- Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Singh (31).
The high court further said there were no grounds to interfere in the "detailed and reasoned" order of the trial court.
It also said there was nothing on record to suggest that the trial in the case stood vitiated due to concealment of any material evidence.
"There is, thus, no infirmity, illegality or irregularity in the order passed by the trial court," the high court said and dismissed Mukesh' plea.
On Tuesday, the trial court had dismissed his plea and had asked the Bar Council of India to give appropriate sensitisation exercise to his counsel.
Upholding the trial court decision, the high court said the plea was "devoid of any substance" and dismissed it.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gang raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She died after a fortnight.
Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case.
The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.
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