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SC rejects curative plea of Nirbhaya convict; lawyer asks Delhi court to stay execution

Akshay Thakur Singh was the third convict to file a curative petition challenging the death penalty after Vinay Sharma and Mukesh.

SNS | New Delhi |


The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the curative petition of Akshay Thakur Singh, one of the convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana was hearing the curative plea of convict Akshay seeking commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.

Akshay was 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 other two convicts.

In December last, the Supreme Court had rejected the review petition of Akshay Singh, confirming the death penalty awarded earlier.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, convict Akshay’s lawyer, AP Singh, moved a plea in Delhi’s Patiala House Court seeking a stay on the execution, which is set for February 1.

Singh claimed in the plea that according to the Delhi Prison rules, none of the four convicts in the same crime can be hanged till the last convict has exhausted all his legal options including the mercy petition.

The four convicts — Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur Singh and Pawan Gupta — are to be executed on February 1.

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, on Wednesday night, another convict, Vinay Sharma, filed a mercy petition before the President, with his lawyer claiming that he “died several times in prison” while judicial proceedings were on.

“I am submitting this mercy petition with the hope that your good self will listen to my story when nobody did. This is the last chance I have to tell how the terrible circumstances of that fateful day in December 2012 changed my life forever… I want to tell you all this, so that you can decide whether death is the only punishment I deserve,” news agency PTI quoted Vinay Sharma as stating in the petition.

With the new plea filed, 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.

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.