Akshay Thakur Singh, one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, on Tuesday exercised the final legal remedy and filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court.
Singh is the third convict to file a curative petition challenging the death penalty after Vinay Sharma and Mukesh. The Supreme Court had dismissed the curative plea of the two convicts.
With this, it is highly unlikely that the convicts will be hanged at 6 am on February 1.
According to the provision of the Delhi Jail Manual, a convict should get 14 days time after his mercy petition is dismissed.
The four convicts — Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur Singh and Pawan Gupta — are to be executed on February 1.
In December last, the Supreme Court had rejected the review petition of Akshay Singh, confirming the death penalty awarded earlier.
The review plea filed by the convict Akshay Kumar Singh, through his lawyer AP Singh, had sought clemency, citing the depleting air quality and water pollution in the city, which has negatively impacted the life span of the citizens.
Nirbhaya killer, Akshay, before a newly constituted three-judge bench of the Supreme Court hearing his review petition, had argued that he was falsely implicated in the case.
Dr AP Singh had submitted before the top court that he now has new facts in the case. He claimed that the conviction was made against his client under media, public and political pressure.
According to a January 7 order, the convicts were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.
However, Delhi’s Patiala House Court on January 17 had to issue a fresh death warrant as convict Mukesh on January 14 moved the Delhi High Court challenging the death warrant issued against him.
Meanwhile, the top court on Wednesday is also likely to give its verdict in a petition by one of the other convicts, Mukesh Singh, 32, who has challenged the rejection of his mercy request citing “non-application of mind” by the President of India.
The counsel for Nirbhaya convict had on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that Mukesh was “beaten and sexually assaulted” in Tihar jail and that all records were not sent to the President and therefore his decision to reject mercy was “arbitrary and malafide”.
A 23-year-old paramedic student, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in south Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder.
The fifth accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide at Tihar Jail in Delhi while a sixth accused, a juvenile, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.