The Supreme Court of India (SC) will, on December 17, hear a petition filed by one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, seeking a review of the 2017 apex court judgment upholding his death penalty in the matter.
A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan would hear the review plea filed by Akshay Kumar Singh whose lawyer has sought clemency arguing life in Delhi is anyway becoming short due to rising air and water pollution.
The bench would also hear the counsel appearing for the victim's mother who has moved the top court opposing the plea.
On July 9, 2018, the apex court had 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, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail in New Delhi.
A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and 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.
"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...," Akshay Kumar Singh's review plea, filed through advocate A P Singh, said.
Akshay, lodged in a jail here, has further said 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 convicts, except Akshay Kumar Singh, 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 send their mercy pleas to the President.
In case the pleas are dismissed, the authorities can seek death warrants from a local court to execute them.
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