Nirbhaya case: Supreme Court to hear convict’s plea 20 January

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on 20 January a plea of a death row convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case against a Delhi High Court order dismissing his claim of being a juvenile at the time of commission of the offence.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bushan and A S Bopanna will hear the plea of Pawan Kumar Gupta. Gupta moved the apex court on Friday challenging the high court’s order dismissing his claim of being a juvenile in December 2012.

Besides, the convict has sought a direction restraining the authorities from executing the death penalty, which has been scheduled for 1 February.

He has challenged the high court’s 19 December order by which it also deprecated the conduct of his advocate for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court.

A Delhi court on Friday issued fresh death warrants for 1 February against the four convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan (25) — in the case.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh. The other three condemned convicts have not yet availed of the constitutional remedy of filing the mercy petitions.

The apex court had on 14 January dismissed the curative petitions of Vinay and Mukesh against their conviction and capital punishment.

The two other convicts — Akshay and Pawan — have not yet filed curative petitions in the top court. In his appeal filed through advocate A P Singh, Pawan has claimed that he was a juvenile at the time of the commission of offence on 16 December, 2012.

While dismissing his plea, the high court had noted that Pawan had earlier raised the juvenility claim in his review petition against the death penalty awarded to him in the case before the apex court which had dismissed his plea on 9 July last year.

In his plea before the high court, he had claimed that as per his school certificate his date of birth was 8 October, 1996.

Pawan had earlier moved a trial court with a plea claiming to be juvenile at the time of the offence and it was dismissed on 21 December last year.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gangraped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of 16-17 December, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before she was thrown out on the road.

She died on 29 December, 2012 at a hospital in Singapore. One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

The top court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.