A day before the scheduled hangings of the Nirbhaya rapists, Bihar court has deferred hearing on divorce petition of one of the convict Akshay Singh. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed the curative petition filed by convict Pawan Kumar Gupta challenging the dismissal of his claim of juvenility at the time of the offence. A six judge bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna heard the petition and dismissed the same as being devoid of merits.
Earlier on Tuesday, the NHRC dismissed the plea of convict Mukesh’s mother to stay his death penalty. Pawan is one of the three convicts in the Nirbhaya case who has also moved the International Court of Justice, seeking a stay on the execution of the death sentence. As a matter of fact, the four rapists have exhausted all their legal remedies with the dismissal of their curative and mercy petitions.
Incidentally, a three-judge Supreme Court bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna had already dismissed the juvenile plea of Pawan on January 20. Gupta had moved the SC against the Delhi High Court order which reaffirmed that Gupta was not a juvenile when he committed the ghastly crime on December 16, 2012. On March 5, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana of Patiala House Court issuing fresh death warrants for the Nirbhaya convicts setting March 20, 5.30 am as the time of execution.
What is the Nirbhaya case?
A 23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six convicts, one reportedly committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017.
(With PTI inputs)