Nirbhaya case: CJI recuses from hearing convict's plea

Nirbhaya case: CJI recuses from hearing convict's plea

Reuters file photo

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Tuesday recused from hearing a review plea by one of the four Nirbhaya case convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh, against the death penalty awarded to them in the 2012 sensational gang rape and murder case.

Moments after advocate A P Singh, appearing for Akshay Kumar Singh, started arguing on the matter, the bench of CJI Bobde and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan came across a previous order showing a counsel related to the CJI had earlier represented the victim's side.

On this, the CJI preferred to withdraw himself from hearing the matter, even though Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi police, submitted that it would not be inappropriate if the bench continued to consider the case.

The CJI announced a fresh bench would be set up to take up the matter on Wednesday, the last working day before the Winter vacations.

The top court had in 2017 judgement confirmed capital punishment to all the four convicts.

On December 10, Akshay, who did not seek a review of the judgement along with three other convicts, filed his petition against his possible execution.

Among other grounds, he said there was already a higher health risks such as rising pollution level in Delhi and said, "Life is going short to short, then why death penalty."

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. She had died on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Nribhaya's mother had also moved a plea to oppose the review petition. She had filed a separate in Delhi court for issuance of death warrants against the convicts.

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