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Nirbhaya case: SC rejects convict's review plea

The bench said the contentions raised by the convict were already considered by the top court in the main judgement
The apex court said that it found
The apex court said that it found "no error" on the face of the main judgement requiring any review
iStock photo

The Telegraph And PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 18.12.19, 08:27 AM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea filed by one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, seeking review of its 2017 judgement upholding his death penalty.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi said there are no grounds to review the verdict and the contentions raised by convict Akshay Kumar Singh were already considered by the top court in the main judgement.

The bench also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and A. S. Bopanna, said that review petition is not 're-hearing of appeal over and over again' and the top court had already considered the mitigating and aggravating circumstances while upholding the death penalty to the convict in the 2017 verdict.

The apex court said that it found 'no error' on the face of the main judgement requiring any review.

As soon as the bench pronounced the verdict, advocate A. P. Singh, appearing for the convict, sought three weeks time to file a mercy petition before the President.

Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi government, told the bench that one week time is prescribed under the law for filing a mercy petition.

'We are not expressing our view in this regard. If as per the law any time is available to the petitioner, it is for the petitioner to avail the remedy of filing mercy petition within that stipulated time,' the bench said.

While pronouncing the judgement, the bench said the convict has again sought to assail the prosecution case and the findings of courts on it and this cannot be permitted.

The bench said that the grounds raised by Akshay were almost identical to the grounds taken by the other three convicts in the case whose review pleas were rejected by the top court last year.

Regarding Singh's submission about the alleged flaws in the investigation, the bench said, 'All these things have already been well considered by the trial court, high court and the Supreme Court.' 

Nirbhaya's mother welcomed the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the plea.

'I am very happy with this. We have a hearing in Patiala House court regarding the issuance of death warrant to the accused and we hope it will be in our favour,' she said.

Nirbhaya's father, however, said they will not be satisfied till a death warrant is issued by the Patiala House court.

'We have had a painful journey. The SC has rejected the review plea but we will not be happy till the time the Patiala House court issues their death warrant. The entire country wants justice for her,' he told reporters.

Delhi Commission For Women chief Swati Maliwal welcomed the also welcomed the apex court's decision, hoping that Patiala court will 'immediately issue the death warrant'.

'After 7 years, the time is nearing for justice to be done with Nirbhaya. The review petition of the rapist has been rejected from the Supreme Court. Hope now Patiala House Court will immediately issue the death warrant of all the four killers! Those four murderers should be hanged immediately!' she posted on Twitter.

The review plea was earlier to be taken up by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde.

However, the CJI on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the review petition filed by Singh.

No official reason was cited for the recusal from hearing Singh’s plea. However, sources claimed that Justice Bobde did so as his nephew Arjun Bobde is representing the victim’s family.

Singh was lodged in jail no. 2 of the Tihar Jail with Mukesh Singh and Pawan Kumar Gupta, who was recently shifted there from Mandoli Jail.

The victim’s mother had asked the convicts to be hanged on December 16, the day the medical student was raped in a moving bus in south Delhi in 2012.

'I will keep fighting for justice for my daughter and for the death penalty of those who snatched her from me. I want them to be hanged before December 16,' she had told reporters.

The parents of the victim, a paramedic student, had moved a Delhi court seeking transfer of the case to another judge, saying that the two judges hearing the matter had been transferred and the matter was being adjourned continuously.

The parents had also sought the court to direct Tihar jail authorities to expedite the execution of the rape convicts.

The 23-year-old paramedic student died on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

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