The Bar Council of Delhi has issued a notice to advocate AP Singh, appearing for Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case convict Pawan Kumar Gupta, after the Delhi High Court last month directed it to take action against the lawyer for filing “forged” documents and not appearing for the hearing.
The bar council has sought Singh’s reply within two weeks.
The Delhi High Court on December 19 last year dismissed the claim of death row convict Pawan Gupta that he was a juvenile at the time of the offense in December 2012 and had deprecated the conduct of Singh for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court. The high court had imposed Rs 25,000 as costs on advocate AP Singh.
“Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, in his order dated December 19 last year, referred the matter to Bar Council of Delhi for taking necessary action against AP Singh, who appeared in the matter on behalf of the petitioner, Pawan Kumar Gupta. After perusing the order passed by the court, it is unanimously decided to issue a notice to AP Singh, advocate, for February 28. He is directed to file his reply within two weeks from the date of receipt of the notice,” the Bar Council said.
The high court had asked the Bar Council of Delhi to take action against Singh for filing a forged affidavit in the court and added that without applying his mind or deliberately, he had filed the documents to delay the process.
Pawan Gupta has now moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court order dismissing his claim of juvenility at the time of offence. The top court will hear the matter on January 20.
On December 19, 2019, Singh had appeared in the court at 10:30 am and mentioned the matter for seeking an adjournment on the pretext of filing some additional documents, without informing the other party. The judge, through his staff, sent several communications via phone, SMS, and e-mail to the advocate to appear before the court as the matter was to be taken up again.
However, Singh did not “bother” to come to the court when the matter was again taken up after 2:30 pm or respond to any of the communication, the judge noted in his order.
While dismissing the plea, the high court had observed it seemed that the convict’s advocate was not interested in appearing in the court and it “deprecates such a practice”. The high court then imposed Rs 25,000 as costs on the counsel for playing “hide and seek”.
A Delhi court last week issued a fresh death warrant against the four death-row convicts, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, Mukesh Kumar, 32, and Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, in the Nirbhaya rape case who will now be executed on February 1 at 6 am.
President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh Kumar while the other three convicts have not yet used the constitutional remedy of filing mercy petitions.
Six men were arrested for raping and torturing a 23-year-old medical student on a moving bus before dumping her on a road in south Delhi on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012. The woman, who came to be known as “Nirbhaya”, died on December 29 in a Singapore hospital.
Four of the accused were convicted and sentenced to death while a fifth accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial. The sixth accused, a few months short of 18 at the time of the incident, was released after three years in a reform facility.