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New SC bench to hear Nirbhaya gang-rape, murder convict’s review plea today

New SC bench to hear Nirbhaya gang-rape, murder convict’s review plea today
Photo: ANI

New Delhi: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court will today hear the review plea filed by one of the four convicts awaiting death penalty in connection with the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case.

The matter was adjourned on Tuesday after Chief Justice of India SA Bobde recused himself from the bench hearing the matter citing personal grounds.

A new bench, comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and SA Bopanna, has been constituted to hear Akshay Kumar Singh’s review petition.

Akshay has moved the court seeking review of its 2017 verdict which upheld the death penalty awarded to him and three others in the case. Singh has sought modification and leniency in the sentence.

Notably, Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan were part of the court’s bench which rejected the review petitions of other three convicts in the case and upheld the death penalty.

In May 2017, Mukesh, Akshay, Pawan and Vinay had knocked the doors of the apex court against a Delhi High Court order which confirmed the capital punishment awarded to them by the trial court in September 2013.

In a voluminous judgement, the bench of the top court had held the attitude of offenders as “bestial proclivity” and said, “It sounds like a story from a different world where humanity is treated with irreverence.”

Subsequently, the three convicts besides Akshay had sought review of the judgment but it was dismissed.

They are facing the gallows for rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012.

Besides four convicts, prime accused Ram Singh had committed suicide in the Tihar jail during the trial of the case. Another accused in the matter was a minor and had appeared before a juvenile justice court.

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