Nirbhaya gang-rape: SC to hear curative petition of convict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Thursday hear the curative petition of one of the four Nirbhaya gang-rape death row convicts, Akshay Thakur who is seeking commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.

A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice NV Ramana will hear the petition in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case at 1 pm.

The curative petition, filed by advocate AP Singh on behalf of Akshay, states that the present curative petition should be allowed by the apex court and it should set aside the May 5, 2017 order, which upheld the death sentence of the convicts.

“Modify the sentence of the petitioner, to life imprisonment as it serves all the purposes that the death penalty claims to serve and protects society from the impending reality in the near-future in which torture and murder are equated with justice as a panacea for all social evils,” the petition said.

The plea said that lack of criminal antecedents, erroneous reliance on deterrence, and the probability of reformation, socio-economic circumstances, non-consideration of constitution bench judgment, were not considered by the courts while awarding his client to death.

The top court had dismissed Akshay’s review petition in December last year.

A three-judge bench of the apex court earlier yesterday dismissed the plea of another Nirbhaya Mukesh Kumar Singh challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.

Earlier this month, a Delhi court had issued the death warrant for Akshay, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Kumar Sharma, and ordered their hanging on February 1.

The case pertains to the gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. The woman died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.

One of the five adult accused, Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail during the trial of the case.

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