The Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on the review plea filed by one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape-and-murder case. Thakur has sought review of the 2017 top court’s judgment upholding his death penalty. The convict's lawyer AP Singh argued as that the death penalty is a primitive method of punishment; execution kills the criminals and not the crime. The lawyer also said that the use of the death penalty didn't seem to be a deterrent effect to criminals and convicts.
Countering Singh’s argument, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that convict doesn't deserve any leniency and God would feel ashamed on creating such a ‘monster’.
“There are certain crimes where "humanity cries" and this case is one of them,” Mehta said.
“Convicts in Nirbhaya case are making concerted efforts to "delay inevitable" and the law must take its own course soon,” he added.
Akshay had sought clemency arguing life in Delhi is anyway becoming short due to rising air and water pollution. On July 9 last year, the apex court had dismissed the review pleas filed by the other three convicts -- Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24) -- in the case, saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.
The 23-year-old paramedic student was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road.
She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.
A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. The top court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.
"The state must not simply execute people to prove that it is attacking terror or violence against women. It must persistently work towards systematic reforms to bring about change. Executions only kill the criminal, not the crime...," said Akshay in the review plea, filed through advocate Singh.
Akshay, lodged in a jail here, has further said that death penalty entails "cold blooded killing" and does not provide convicts the chance to reform themselves.
The plea referred to the moral reasons for abolition of the death penalty and said there was no evidence to show that such a punishment has got a deterrent value.
The convicts, except Akshay Kumar Singh, can still file curative pleas in the top court against their conviction and death penalty in the case. After exhausting the remedy of filing curative pleas, the convicts can send their mercy pleas to the President. In case the pleas are dismissed, the authorities can seek death warrants from a local court to execute them.