The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the curative petitions filed by Vinay Kumar Sharma and Mukesh Singh, two of the four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya Delhi gang rape case. With the dismissal, the last and final legal remedy has exhausted for the death-row convicts awaiting execution on January 22.
A five-judge bench comprising Justices N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra, R.F. Nariman, R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan dismissed the curative petitions saying they did not find any merit in them. "This is a big day for me. I had been struggling for the last 7 years. But the biggest day will be 22nd January when they (convicts) will be hanged," said Asha Devi, mother of 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim, reacting to the news.
A Delhi court had on January 7 issued death warrants against all the four convicts—Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31)—and ordered they be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail, over seven years after the brutal crime sparked outrage and anger across the country.
Curative petitions are decided in-chambers by the judges. Mukesh Kumar and Vinay Sharma had filed curative petitions in the apex court on Thursday.
Two other death-row convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25), against whom death warrants have been issued by a Delhi court, have not filed curative petitions.
Nirbhaya gang rape
A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
The Supreme Court had in 2017 upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and a trial court.
One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail. 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.
On July 9, 2018, the apex court had dismissed the review pleas filed by three of the convicts in the case, saying no grounds had been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.
(With PTI inputs)