Nirbhaya Case: The mercy petitions of three convicts -- Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay -- have already been dismissed by the President. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the curative petition filed by convict Pawan Gupta seeking commutation of death penalty into life term. A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana said that no case is made out for re-examining the conviction and the punishment of the convict. Other members of the bench were justices Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.
Pawan is now left with 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.
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.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gangraped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital. The brutality of the crime shook the nation, leading to country-wide protests and a change in India’s rape laws.
Six people—Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta, Ram Singh and a juvenile—were named as accused. The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013. The prime accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.
He was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. The juvenile, when released, was 20 years old. Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan were convicted and sentenced to death in September 2013.
(With PTI Inputs)