January 14, 2020

SC Junks Nirbhaya Convicts’ Curative Pleas, Clears Hanging

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Supreme Court has dismissed curative petitions filed by two of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case, namely Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma, thus clearing the death sentence of all those convicted.

A five-judge Supreme Court bench comprising Justice N V Ramana, Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice R Banumathi, and Justice Ashok Bhushan pronounced their verdict.

It may be recalled that on January 7, 2020, Additional Sessions Judge at the Patiala House Court of Delhi, Satish Arora, had issued a death warrant against the four Nirbhaya case convicts, paving the way for them to be hanged on January 22 at 7am in Delhi's Tihar Jail.

Two days after the death warrant was issued, death row Vinay Sharma had moved the Supreme Court. Mukesh Singh was the second convict to move the Supreme Court with his curative petition.

The Nirbhaya case pertains to the incident on December 16, 2012, when six men in Delhi brutally gang-raped a young woman, called ‘Nirbhaya’, in a moving bus due to which she succumbed to her injuries.

Of the six accused, the main accused committed suicide in Tihar jail during the course of the trial and a juvenile accused was sentenced to three years in a remand home upon conviction. The remaining four convicts were sentenced to death by Patiala House Court of Delhi Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora.

The four convicts then approached the Delhi High Court in appeal. After the High Court upheld the lower court verdict, the Supreme Court too upheld their death penalty in May 2017.

In July 2018, the Supreme Court dismissed review petitions filed by three of the accused, namely Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta.

The fourth convict, Akshay's review petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court in December 2019.

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