New Delhi: Chief Justice S.A. Bobde has recused himself from the hearing on the review petition filed by Nirbhaya gangrape and murder convict Akshay Kumar Singh, who moved the court seeking review on the death penalty.
The Chief Justice said a new bench will be notified to hear the review at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday.
It is learnt that Chief Justice’s nephew happened to appear in the case on the behalf of Nirbhaya’s family.
At the beginning of the hearing, the Chief Justice told Akshay’s lawyer A.P. Singh that he will get 30 minutes to argue the case. The review was listed for hearing before a bench headed by Justice Bobde and comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Banumathi. Nirbhaya’s parents were also present in the court.
Akshay’s lawyer claimed that the conviction was brought upon his client under public and political pressure. The Chief Justice after going through the documents of the case noted that his nephew had appeared in the case.
He informed Akshay’s lawyer about the same and sought his response. Later, the Chief Justice decided to notify a new bench to conduct hearing in the matter.
The apex court had allowed the victim’s mother plea, who is opposing review on the death penalty. The top court had already dismissed the review pleas of three other convicts also on death row. They are Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24). In 2017, the top court found no merit in the conducting the review and upheld the capital punishment given by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.
Ram Singh, another accused in the case, had allegedly committed suicide in jail. A juvenile accused convicted by a juvenile justice board was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.
The 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus. Later, she was thrown at an isolated place by the accused. The victim died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.