Supreme Court to hear Nirbhaya case convict’s death penalty review plea

Nirbhaya gangrape Demonstration

New Delhi, Dec 16 : The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the plea of a convict on the death row in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, seeking the review of the 2017 top court judgement upholding his death penalty.

A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan will hear the review plea filed by Akshay Kumar Singh, who through his lawyer A.P. Singh, sought clemency, citing the depleting air quality and water pollution in the city, which has negatively impacted the life span of the citizens.

The apex court has also allowed the victim’s mother plea, who is opposing review of 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). The court found no merit in the conducting the review and upheld the capital punishment given by the trial court and confirmed by the Delhi High Court in the case.

Ram Singh, another accused in the case, allegedly committed suicide in the 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.

The convicts, except Akshay, can avail legal remedy by filing curative pleas in the top court against their conviction and death penalty. After exhausting the legal channel, the convicts can send mercy plea to the President. If the President dismisses the mercy pleas of the accused, then the authorities would need death warrants from a local court to carry out executions.

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