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Monday, January 27, 2020

‘Why death penalty when pollution cuts short lifespan’: 2012 gangrape convict to SC

In his review petition, Akshya Kumar Singh pleaded against his possible execution by talking of about health risks such as rising pollution levels in Delhi and reducing the life span of human beings in the present age.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 10, 2019 9:48:22 pm
Sonbhadra: 70-year-old ‘raped’ by 27-year-old neighbour The 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gangraped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012. (Representational)

Days after the Home Ministry forwarded to the President the recommendation of the Delhi government rejecting the plea of one of the four death row convicts in the December 16, 2012, Delhi gangrape case, another convict on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its 2017 judgment.

In his review petition, Akshya Kumar Singh pleaded against his possible execution by strangely talking about health risks such as rising pollution levels in Delhi and also the life span of human beings in the present age, PTI reported.

“Life is going short to short, then why death penalty…it is mentioned in our ‘Ved’, ‘Puranas’ and ‘Upanishads’ that in the age of ‘Satyug’ people lived the life of thousand years. In the age of ‘Dwapar’ they used to live for hundreds of the years But not it is ‘Kalyug’, in this era, the age of human beings have reduced much. It has now come to 50-60 years, and rarely we listen of a person who is the age of 100 years,” Singh’s petition, filed through his lawyer AP Singh, mentioned

“Very few people reach up to the age of 80-90 years. This is almost a very true analysis. When we look around us then we come to the conclusion, more or less this analysis is true when a person faces the stark realities of life and passes through the adverse situation, then he is no better than a dead body,” the petition further said.

On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old woman was gangraped and assaulted on a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons. She was airlifted to a Singapore hospital, where she passed away on December 29, 2012.

Accused Ram Singh hanged himself in jail while another, a juvenile, was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment in a reform facility. The rest are lodged in Tihar.

The top court, on July 9 last year, had dismissed the review pleas by 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.

Akshya’s petition further said that death penalty entailed “cold blooded killing” and does not provide the convicts a chance to reform.

“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 being about change. Executions only kill the criminal, not the crime,” the review plea said.

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