The top court of the country has rejected the review petition filed by one of the death-row convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh, in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case.
Supreme Court rejects review petition of Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. pic.twitter.com/5fhmZI94bW
— ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2019
On Tuesday, the CJI SA Bobde had recused himself from hearing the matter and adjourned the matter for Wednesday. Today, the bench headed by Justice R Banumathi and comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna took up the matter this morning and dismissed the review petition saying ”We do not find any error on the face of the record.”
Convict Akshay, through his advocate AP Singh, had sought clemency arguing life in Delhi is anyway becoming short due to rising air and water pollution and therefore there was no need to award death penalty to him.
Casting aspersions on the investigations carried out by the law enforcement agencies, Singh alleged that the police had wrongfully incriminated wrong people as they were unable to catch the real culprits.
Singh also alleged that there has been an undue haste for hanging of the convicts in this case and submitted the list of death-row convicts in other cases who were yet to be hanged.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state, argued that the petitioners were simply trying to delay the inevitable by filing various petitions. In his closing arguments, Mehta said that there are some crimes when humanity cries and this is one of them. Asking the bench to dismiss the review plea, Mehta asserted that death penalty should not be set aside for crimes of such nature.
However, the Delhi High Court, where Nirbhaya’s parents had sought immediate execution to the convicts on death row, has said that the fact that convicts want to file mercy petition does not preclude the court from issuing death warrant. The court ordered Tihar Jail authorities to issue fresh notice for one week to the convicts and scheduled next date of hearing for 7th January. “Have full sympathy with you. We know someone has died but there are their(convicts) rights too. We are here to listen to you but are also bound by the law,” the court told the mother of the victim, who broke down in court.
A 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gang raped and cruelly assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. After battling for her life for 13 days, the victim succumbed to her injuries on 29 December 2012.
Six persons were arrested in the case and following their trial, they were sentenced to death penalty by the trial abd High Court. The apex 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.
Last year on July 9, the Supreme 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.