Death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case, Pawan Kumar Gupta filed his curative plea before the Supreme Court on February 28. He is scheduled to be executed alongside the three other rapists on March 3 at 6 AM, as per the order of the Patiala High Court.
Pawan Gupta sought commutation of his death penalty, issued by the trial court, into a life term, his counsel AP Singh said. The mercy petitions of three convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma, and Akshay Kumar -- have already been dismissed by the President. Pawan Gupta was the last to file a curative petition in the Supreme Court. He is yet to file the mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Supreme Court Tuesday said it would hear on March 5 the plea filed by the Centre challenging the Delhi High Court verdict which held that the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case have to be executed together and not separately. The apex court had made it clear on February 14 that pendency of the Centre's appeal seeking separate execution of the four convicts would not come in the way of trial court's issuing a fresh date for their hanging, which is now scheduled for March 3.
"List the matters on March 5 at 3 pm," the bench said in its order. 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 Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) -- in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. Akshay Kumar has not yet challenged the rejection of his mercy petition.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who later came to be known as ''Nirbhaya'' (fearless), was gang-raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi. She passed away after a fortnight.
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.
(With PTI inputs)