Nirbhaya case update: SC dismisses death row convict Pawan Gupta's curative plea
A five-judge bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana said that no case is made out for re-examining the conviction and the punishment of the convict.
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a curative petition filed by convict Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case. The move comes a day before the scheduled date of convicts’ hanging.
A five-judge bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana said that no case is made out for re-examining the conviction and the punishment of the convict. Other members of the bench were justices Arun Mishra, R.F. Nariman, R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.
Pawan, 25, against whom the death warrant has been issued for execution on March 3 along with the three other condemned prisoners, had claimed juvenility to seek commutation of sentence to life imprisonment.
In the curative plea before the apex court, Pawan pleaded that his age on the day of offence was 16 years and two months as per the school records last attended by him and "the age has not been determined in accordance with the procedures laid down under the Juvenile Justice Act".
This information was suppressed by the State throughout the proceedings, Pawan has claimed.
He filed the curative plea through lawyer A.P. Singh seeking setting aside of the apex court's earlier verdicts on appeals and review petitions in the case.
Singh said he filed an application in the apex court registry on Sunday seeking an oral hearing on Pawan's curative plea in the open court.
Pawan is the last death row convict in the case to move the top court with his curative plea, the final legal remedy available to a person.
The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gangraped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before she was thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
Pawan is the lone convict who had not exhausted his legal remedies of filing a curative petition and subsequent mercy plea with the President.
The trial court on February 17 issued fresh date for execution of death warrants for March 3 at 6 am for the four convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Singh (31) -- in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
The mercy petitions of three convicts -- Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay -- have already been dismissed by President Ram Nath Kovind. The apex court had earlier dismissed separate pleas filed by Mukesh and Vinay challenging the rejection of their mercy petitions by the President. Akshay has not yet challenged the rejection of his mercy petition.
Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case. The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.