Nirbhaya's mother moves Supreme Court opposing review plea of convict, to be heard on Dec 17

Updated: Dec 13, 2019, 13:29 IST | PTI | New Delhi

The counsel appearing for the victim's mother mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and said they are opposing the convict's review plea

Nirbhaya rape case victim's mother outside the Patiala House Court in New Delhi. Pic/ PTI
Nirbhaya rape case victim's mother outside the Patiala House Court in New Delhi. Pic/ PTI

New Delhi: The mother of the 2012 Delhi gangrape-murder victim, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, on Friday moved the Supreme Court to oppose a review plea by one of the four men sentenced to death in the case. Akshay Kumar's plea, seeking a review of the apex court's 2017 verdict giving him capital punishment, is scheduled to be heard by a three-judge bench on December 17. The counsel appearing for the victim's mother mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and said they are opposing the convict's review plea.

The bench said the lawyer for the victim's mother will be heard on December 17 when the review petition comes up for hearing. On July 9 last year, the apex court dismissed the review pleas filed by the other three convicts -- Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24) -- in the case, saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.

The 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. The top court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case. Akshay's review plea, filed through advocate A P Singh, referred to the health risks due to the rising pollution level in Delhi and said, "Life is going short to short, then why death penalty".

"The state must not simply execute people to prove that it is attacking terror or violence against women. It must persistently work towards systematic reforms to bring about change. Executions only kill the criminal, not the crime...," the review plea said. Akshay, lodged in a jail here, has said in his review plea that death penalty entails "cold blooded killing" and does not provide convicts the chance to reform themselves.

The plea referred to the moral reasons for abolition of the death penalty and said there was no evidence to show that such a punishment has got a deterrent value. The three convicts, except Akshay, can still file curative pleas in the top court against their conviction and death penalty in the case. After exhausting the remedy of filing curative pleas, the convicts can move the president with their mercy pleas. In case their mercy pleas are dismissed, the authorities can seek death warrants from a local court to execute them.

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