Updated: January 30, 2020 3:20:26 pm
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the curative petition of Akshay Thakur, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case. So far, the curative petitions filed by two other convicts — Vinay and Mukesh — in the case have already been dismissed by the apex court.
The curative petition of Akshay was heard in-chamber by a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, which also rejected the convict’s plea seeking a stay of his execution.
“The application for stay of execution of death sentence is also rejected,” the bench said. With the dismissal of his curative petition, Akshay now has the option to move a mercy plea before the President.
In his petition, Akshay said capital punishment was being awarded by courts as “panacea” in the face of public pressure and public opinion on violence against women. “The hollow claim that the death penalty creates a special kind of deterrence which is not caused by life imprisonment and that and life imprisonment amounts to ‘forgiving’ the criminal is backed by nothing more than a barely masked need to justify vengeance and retribution,” the petition said.
The petition further cited the ‘collective conscience of the society’ and public opinion as having prejudiced the case of the petitioner and other co-accused. “The present curative petition is also filed in recognition of the increasingly unsustainable judicial demand for the death penalty in light of the severely inconsistent application of its imposition by this court,” the petition further said.
Pawan, the fourth convict, is yet to file a curative plea. The three convicts, other than Mukesh, also have the option of moving the apex court against the rejection of mercy plea by the President when this situation arises.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court Thursday issued notice to Tihar jail authorities, asking them to reply on a plea seeking stay on the convicts’ executions on February 1.
Special Judge A K Jain directed the Tihar Jail Superintendent to reply by 10 am on Friday.
Advocate A P Singh, representing death row convict Vinay Kumar Sharma, asked the court to adjourn the executions sine die as legal remedies of some of the convicts are yet to be availed.
Against the backdrop of the apparent delaying tactics by the convicts in the Nirbhaya case, the Centre recently moved the top court for fixing a deadline of seven days for the execution of the death penalty of condemned prisoners after issuance of a black warrant.
The case dates back to December 16, 2012, when a 23-year-old woman was gangraped and assaulted inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons, before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012, at a hospital in Singapore. Of the six main accused, one died in prison while another was a juvenile who served a three-year sentence.
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