Nirbhaya Case: SC Rejects Convict Pawan's Juvenility Claim Curative Plea On Eve Of Hanging

Law & Order

SC dismissed the curative petition filed by death row convict Pawan Kumar Gupta challenging the dismissal of his claim of juvenility at the time of the offence

Written By Varsha Chavan | Mumbai | Updated On:

A day before the scheduled hangings of the Nirbhaya rapists, the Supreme Court on Thursday 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.

READ | Nirbhaya Convict Akshay's Wife Files For Divorce As He Files 2nd Mercy Plea Before Hanging

On Tuesday, Pawan Gupta, one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case filed another curative plea before the Supreme Court. He claimed that he was a minor at the time of committing the offence. Moreover, he appealed that his death sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment. 

Despite exhausting all their legal remedies, the convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case approached the Patiala House Court on Wednesday seeking a stay on the execution of their death warrant. The matter will be taken up at noon on Thursday.  Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana issued notice to the Tihar jail authorities and the state after AP Singh- the counsel for the rapists- argued that that the second mercy petitions of his clients Akshay and Pawan were pending. 

READ | Hangman Reaches Tihar Jail To Conduct Dummy Hanging Ahead Of Nirbhaya Convicts' Execution

Nirbhaya convicts scheduled to hang on March 20

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.  

READ | Nirbhaya Convicts Move Patiala House Court Seeking Stay On Execution; Hearing Tomorrow

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. 

READ | Nirbhaya Case: Convict Pawan Gupta Files Curative Plea In SC Again Days After Moving ICJ

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