SC to hear Nirbhaya convict's curative plea on March 2

SC to hear Nirbhaya convict's curative plea a day ahead of execution

Petitioner Pawan has approached the top court with the curative petition on Friday, just days before the date of execution on March 3

Representative image (iStock photo)

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court would on Monday take up a curative petition filed by one of the four death row convicts in 2012 Nirbhaya case, Pawan Gupta for commutation of his sentence to life imprisonment.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, Rohinton F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan would consider the petition inside their chamber at 10.25 am on March 2.

Petitioner Pawan has approached the top court with the curative petition on Friday, just days before the date of execution on March 3.

He asked the top court to set aside May 5, 2017 judgement which had upheld the death penalty imposed on him and three others. Pawan insisted that his school register at Ambedkar Nagar district in UP recorded his date of birth as October 8, 1996 which made him 16 years, two months and eight days old at the time of incident in 2012.

He maintained his plea that he was a minor at the time of incident and was not considered and decided in terms of the procedure laid down in the Juvenile Justice Act. As per previous Supreme Court judgements, he said that the plea of juvenility can be raised at any stage and even after conclusion of the proceedings.

The curative petition, like review plea, is decided by judges inside chamber, without presence of counsel. The apex court in the 2002 case of Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra opened an option of filing curative petition for reconsideration of its final judgement even after dismissal of review petition, to correct gross illegality.

Notably, a similar plea of juvenility by Pawan was dismissed by the top court in January, this year.

The trial court had on February 17 issued fresh date for execution of death warrants for March 3 at 6 am for the four convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Kumar Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) -- in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

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