SC dismisses 2 curative petitions in Nirbhaya rape case

Supreme Court dismisses curative petitions of death row Nirbhaya convicts

A five-judge bench of Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan took up the matter in their chamber and found no ground to reconsider its previous decisions. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the curative petitions filed by death row convicts Vinay and Mukesh in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, closing the last window of opportunity for them to question their sentence.

The top court also rejected their plea to stay the execution scheduled on January 22. With this, the convicts are left only with an option to file a mercy petition with the President.

A five-judge bench of Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan took up the matter in their chambers and found no ground to reconsider its previous decisions.

“We have gone through the curative petitions and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra and Another, reported in 2002. Hence, the curative petitions are dismissed,” the bench said in its order.

The court also rejected their plea for an oral hearing. The concept of the curative petition came into existence with the 2002 judgement wherein it was held that an aggrieved person can seek reconsideration of the top court's judgement, even after dismissal of the review petition, to cure “gross miscarriage of justice”. The curative petitions are considered inside the judges' chambers through the circulation of documents.

In the instant case, the trial court had on January 7 issued a death warrant against the four convicts, for their hanging in Tihar jail here on January 22, acting on a plea made by the parents of the victim, supported by the prosecutor of the Delhi government.

Of the four, only Vinay and Mukesh had preferred to file the curative petitions, the last legal option to seek reconsideration of the apex court judgement.

The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road.

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

The top court had upheld the capital punishment awarded to the four convicts and dismissed their review plea. One accused Ram Singh had died in jail and another accused who was juvenile had been released, after being kept in observation home.

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