Follow Us:

SC reserves order on Nirbhaya rapists’ appeal against death penalty

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict on the review petition filed by Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta, two of the four condemned convicts facing the death penalty in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

After hearing arguments on behalf of Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta, a bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan reserved its order.

Referring to the Puranas and Vedas, Sharma’s counsel pleaded that “death penalty is a cold way of killing a human being. Extrusion kills the criminal, not the crime. Death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights”.

The counsel quoted Justice P N Bhagwati who said “it is the poor who faces such denial of human rights; never an elite witnesses such a denial”.

“The conduct of the petitioner exhibits reforms. In a death penalty case, not only the nature of the crime but the background of the criminal should be seen. The UNO has banned death penalty,” he argued.

He said when the case depends upon a testimony of a single witness, it is not safe to rely on the same. He cited reports of the Delhi cyber cell that Vinay Sharma was not at the site of the crime, instead he was at a musical concert.

“The accused Vinay Sharma is not of criminal mind as he continued his studies while in jail, used to donate blood whenever needed.”

The counsel appearing for Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) objected to the arguments of Sharma’s counsel and said: “Not even a single point raised by the petitioner has not been dealt with by the court. The juvenility issue has been dealt with by the trial court already.”

Reserving its order, the bench directed the counsel for GNCTD to file its written statement and a note on the rarest of rare case. The bench asked senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing Delhi Police, and lawyer A P Singh, counsel for Vinay and Pawan to file their written submissions.  It had earlier reserved its verdict on the review petition filed by another convict Mukesh. The fourth convict Akshay has not filed a review petition yet.

The paramedical student was gangraped on the intervening night of 16-17 December 2012, inside a moving bus in South Delhi by a gang of six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road naked. She succumbed to her injuries on 29 December 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Another accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail, while a convicted juvenile has come out of the reformation home after serving a three-year term.