The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the curative petition filed by Pawan Gupta, one of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, against the dismissal of his juvenility claim. A six-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana dismissed the plea, saying “no case is made out.”
Meanwhile, a Delhi court was on Thursday told that no legal remedies of any of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were pending in any of the courts. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana was informed by the public prosecutor that second mercy pleas of two convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta, were not entertained and were rejected on the ground that the first one was entertained and considered on merit.
Three of the four convicts had on Wednesday moved a Delhi court seeking stay on their death penalty, saying the second mercy plea of one of them was still pending. On March 5, a trial court had issued fresh death warrants for March 20 at 5.30 am, as the date for the execution of convicts Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31).
The 23-year-old woman, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and assaulted on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case.
They have been using tactics to delay the hanging, which has already been postponed twice. They have even approached international court and India’s Human Rights Commission.
On March 16, the three convicts Pawan Kumar Gupta and Akshay Kumar Singh and Vinay Kumar Sharma had approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking stay on the execution of their death sentence.
The four convicts in the 2012 case, Vinay, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh are scheduled to be hanged at 5:30 am on March 20.