Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 14
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed curative petitions of two of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case scheduled to be hanged on January 22.
A five-judge Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana unanimously dismissed the curative petitions filed by convicts Vinay Kumar and Mukesh, saying there was no merit in their petitions.
Other judges on the Bench were Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Rohinton F Nariman, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan.
“The applications for oral hearing are rejected. The applications for stay of execution of death sentence are also rejected.
We have gone through the curative petitions and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out. Hence, the curative petitions are dismissed,” read the order.
After the dismissal of a curative petition, a convict can file a mercy plea before the President under Article 72 of the Constitution. Even the dismissal of the mercy petition can be challenged before the top court. The convicts’ execution on January 22 appears unlikely in view of a 2014 ruling of the Supreme Court that said there should be a gap of 14 days between the receipt of communication of rejection of a convict’s mercy plea and his/her execution.
The 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, inside a running bus in south Delhi by six men and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012.
Delhi Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora had on January 7 ordered that the four convicts — Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail.
Faced with execution, Vinay and Mukesh had on Thursday filed curative petitions, contending that their socio-economic background was not taken into account. Vinay had pleaded that his young age at the time of the crime was ignored while sentencing him to death. The SC on December 18 rejected convict Akshay Kumar’s petition seeking review of its 2017 verdict upholding the death penalty given to him and three others.
Mercy plea filed
Mukesh Singh, one of the four convicts, filed a mercy plea before President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday. He also moved the Delhi HC for setting aside the death warrant issued by a trial court. The plea is listed for hearing on Wednesday. PTI
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