Nirbhaya: SC to hear review plea of convict on Dec 17

Last Updated 12 December 2019, 21:01 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed its hearing on December 17 on a review petition filed by one of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case against the 2017 judgement confirming death penalty awarded to them.

According to a notice issued by the Supreme Court on its website, the review petition would be heard by a three-judge bench at 2 pm on Tuesday, December 17. A death row convict is granted open court hearing for a minimum 30-minute on review petition.

Akshya Kumar Singh, 33, who did seek review of the judgement earlier with other three convicts, fervently pleaded against his possible execution. His petition was filed only on December 10.

Strangely, he, among other grounds, also raised health risks such as rising pollution level in Delhi and said, "Life is going short to short, then why death penalty."

The plea also referred to the moral reasons for abolition of the death penalty.

"Why death penalty? When age is reducing, it is mentioned in our 'Ved', 'Purans' and 'Upanishads' that in the age of 'Satyug' people lived the life of thousand years. In the age of 'Dwapar' they used to live for hundreds of the years But not it is 'Kalyug', in this era, age of human beings have reduced much. It has now come to 50-60 years, and rarely we hear of a person who is the age of 100 years,” he said.

In his petition filed by advocate A P Singh, he contended, "The state must not simply execute people to prove that it is attacking terror or violence against women. It must persistently work towards systematic reforms to being about change. Executions only kill the criminal, not the crime”.

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 persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

The top court had on July 9, 2018 dismissed the review pleas by Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24). In its 2017 verdict, the court had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi HC and the trial court.

Akshya, presently lodged in a jail here, said that the death penalty entails "cold blooded killing" and it does not provide the chance to reformation to convicts.

(Published 12 December 2019, 13:57 IST)

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