The four convicts in Nirbhaya case are scheduled to be hanged on March 3 at 6 am (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-and-murder case, has filed a curative plea in Supreme Court. Pawan has sought commutation of his death penalty into life term, said his counsel AP Singh. Pawan also has the option of filing a mercy petition before the President. The trial court on February 17 had issued fresh date for execution of death warrants for March 3 at 6 am for the four convicts - Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) - in the Nirbhaya case. The mercy petitions of three convicts -- Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay -- have already been dismissed by the President.
The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed separate pleas filed by Mukesh and Vinay challenging the rejection of their mercy petitions by the President. Akshay has not yet challenged the rejection of his mercy petition. However, with Pawan filing the curative plea, the execution is unlikely to take place on March 3 now.
The Supreme would hear on March 5 the plea filed by the Centre challenging the Delhi High Court verdict which held that the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case have to be executed together and not separately. The high court on February 5 had dismissed the Centre's plea against the trial court's order staying the execution of death sentence of the four convicts. It also faulted the authorities concerned for not taking steps for issuance of death warrant after the rejection of appeals of the accused by the Supreme Court in 2017.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who later came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gang raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi. 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 PTI Inputs)