A five-judge Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana dismissed the curative petition filed by Pawan Gupta, one of the four Nirbhaya gangrape convicts , against his death sentence.
The Bench examined the petition in the chamber at 10.25 a.m. on Monday and found no merits in it.
“We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out... The application for oral hearing is rejected. The application for stay of execution of death sentence is also rejected,” the short order said.
The date of execution of the death sentence of the four men is set for March 3 at 6 a.m.
Separately, a Bench of Justices R. Banumathi and A.S. Bopanna dismissed a PIL petition filed by former High Court judge, Michael Saldanha, for directions to the government and jail authorities to give the Nirbhaya convicts’ organs for medical research.
“To execute a person is the saddest part for the family . You (petitioner ) want their body to cut into pieces... Have a humane approach to these things... Organ donation has to be voluntary,” Justice Banumathi addressed the petitioner.
In his curative plea, Pawan had argued that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime and was not present at the place of crime. He had contended that he was at a park attending a musical show, he claimed. The petition said the court did not follow the principles of natural justice while confirming his death sentence.
The other three convicts — Vinay, Mukesh and Akshay — seemed to have exhausted their legal remedies . Recently, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition filed by Vinay challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the President in the case.
The curative petition, as is the practice, would be decided by circulation among the judges on the Bench in their chambers.
Pawan has also not filed a plea for clemency with the President.
On February 25, the Supreme Court had deferred hearing an appeal filed by the Centre for permission to separately execute the death sentence of the four convicts. A three-judge Bench led by Justice Banumathi had decided to watch the unfolding of events over the next few days rather than start hearing arguments on the legality of executing convicts separately before the legal and administrative remedies available to their co-convicts were exhausted.