The judges said convict Akshay Singh can plead for mercy before the Indian president Ram Nath Kovind within one week
The Indian Supreme Court today confirmed the death sentence of one of the four convicts in the 2012 gang-rape, torture and killing of a young medical student known to the world as ‘Nirbhaya’ or fearless, saying there was no ground to review the verdict.
The judges said convict Akshay Singh can plead for mercy before the Indian president Ram Nath Kovind within one week, reports NDTV.
“Review petition is not re-hearing of appeal over and over again,” a three-judge bench said, dismissing the last such petition in the case.
The convict had questioned the woman’s dying declaration and argued in court that he deserved mercy as the “pressure to implicate him had been overlooked” and there had been inefficiency to catch the “real perpetrators.”
Representing the state, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said: “The convict doesn’t deserve any lenience. God would feel ashamed of creating such a monster. There are certain crimes where ‘humanity cries’ and this case is one of them.”
Akshay Singh’s lawyer AP Singh had argued that there was media and public pressure to implicate him. The dying declaration of Nirbhaya was “doubtful and cannot be relied upon,” he argued, also pointing to a recent book by a former jailer of the Tihar Jail, where the convicts are lodged. The book raises questions about the suicide of Ram Singh, one of the accused, inside jail.
“We can’t go by views of any author. We can’t go into all this now. This will set a dangerous trend if people start writing books after the trial is over and talk about such things. There will be no end if we start entertaining all these arguments now. He should have offered himself at the time of trial. What can be the purpose of writing all this now? How can we reply on it,” said the Supreme Court.
Claiming “new facts,” Akshay Singh’s lawyer also said a CBI inquiry was never carried out in the case and referred to the case of the killing of a Delhi schoolboy in which a bus conductor first arrested by the police was cleared by the CBI.
SC observes that there is ‘no ground for a review’ in the death sentence of the Nirbhaya rape convict.
TIMES NOW’s Harish & Priyank with details. pic.twitter.com/naEzzcKFGg
A new bench heard the review petition after Chief Justice S A Bobde recused himself on Tuesday, saying one of his relatives had represented Nirbhaya.
The review petitions of the three other convicts, Mukesh, 30, Pawan Gupta, 23, and Vinay Sharma, 24, had been dismissed earlier. Of the six accused of Nirbhaya’s rape and murder, four were convicted, Ram Singh committed suicide and a juvenile was released after three years in a reform home.
The 23-year-old paramedic student was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012, before being dumped on a road, naked and critically injured.
She died on December 29 in Singapore.
Akshay, in his petition, argues that Delhi is a “gas chamber” and a person’s life-span is becoming shorter anyway. “Everyone is aware of what is happening in Delhi-NCR with regard to water and air. Life is becoming short, then why death penalty,” he says.
Nirbhaya’s mother said she was confident all four convicts would be hanged soon. “It is good and we have gone a step further,” she said on the court decision, referring to her request that a death warrant be issued for their execution.