Pawan Gupta had claimed that he was a minor at the time of offence on December 16, 2012 (Photo Credit: PTI File)
Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the curative petition of Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape and murder case, against the dismissal of his review plea rejecting his juvenility claim. Pawan Gupta had claimed that he was a minor at the time of offence and thereby his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.
The order comes less than 24 hours before the scheduled execution of death warrants against all the convicts in the case -- Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31). On March 5, a trial court had issued fresh warrants for all four convicts to be hanged on March 20 at 5.30 am in Tihar Jail.
A six-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana dismissed the plea, saying "no case is made out".
"The application for oral hearing is rejected. We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out... Hence, the curative petition is dismissed," said the bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, RF Nariman, R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna. All the convicts have exhausted their legal remedies and constitutional remedies with the filing of their mercy petitions, which have been rejected by the president.
"The courts gave them so many opportunities that they have become habituated of bringing something ahead of hanging and get it postponed. Now, our courts are aware of their tactics. Nirbhaya will get justice tomorrow," said Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi reacting to the court's decision.
The 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 Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case. The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home. (With agency inputs)