The Supreme Court has rejected a review petition, filed by one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape-and-murder case, saying there was no ‘error in the 2017 verdict’. “We find no grounds for review of 2017 verdict upholding death penalty of the convict,” the top court said. The verdict was delivered by a bench comprising of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna.
“We have given due consideration to grounds. Petitioner has sought to assail evidence. These grounds considered earlier. This cannot be allowed. All these have been examined in the trial court, High court and SC,” Banumathi said while announcing the verdict.
Advocate AP Singh, appearing for the convict, sought three-week time to file a mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that 1 week's time is prescribed under law for filing a mercy petition before President.
“Whatever time is prescribed under the law, a convict can avail remedy of filing mercy plea within it,” the bench said while refraining from expressing a view on the time frame to file mercy petition.
Reacting to the development, Asha Devi, mother of 2012 Delhi gangrape victim, said: “I am very happy.”
Earlier, opposing the review plea, Mehta - appearing for the Delhi government - told the bench that there are certain crimes where "humanity cries" and this is one of them.
"There are certain crimes where God would feel ashamed in not saving the child (victim) and in creating such a monster. The death penalty does not deserve to be set aside for such crimes," Mehta said.
He also said that convicts in the Nirbhaya case are making concerted efforts to "delay the inevitable" and the law must take its own course as soon as possible.
Advocate AP Singh, appearing for the convict, had told the court that the age of citizens in Delhi-NCR is reducing due to air and water pollution and there was no need to award the death penalty to the convict.