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CJI Bobde recuses from hearing Nirbhaya convict’s clemency plea

Nirbhaya case convicts (clockwise from top left) Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh. File

Nirbhaya case convicts (clockwise from top left) Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The reason cited by lawyers is that a relative of his had some time back been a lawyer for the victim's family.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde recused from hearing the review petition of one of the four condemned men in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

Shortly after the Bench led by the CJI and Justices R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan assembled, the CJI informed the lawyers that he would wish to withdraw. The reason cited by lawyers is that a relative of his had some time back been a lawyer for the victim's family.

As assured by the CJI in court, a new Bench of Justices Banumathi, Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna is scheduled to hear the petition of Akshay Kumar Singh to reconsider the apex court's 2017 judgment confirming his death sentence.

CJI Bobde recuses from hearing Nirbhaya convict’s clemency plea
 

“Executions only kill criminals, not the crime. 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,” Singh, who faces the gallows, urged the court to reconsider his fate.

Singh, who is 33, along Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24), gang-raped a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012. She died of her injuries a few days later.

The case shocked the nation and led to the tightening of anti-rape laws. Rape, especially gang rape, is now a capital crime.

Watch | How Indian Laws on Sexual Crimes Have Evolved?
 

In July last year, The apex court dismissed the review petitions of Mukesh, Gupta and Sharma. They are left with the extremely rare remedy of filing curative petitions in the court.

Singh, however, did not join them. He has opted to file his review petition now when the authorities were reportedly making preparations in Tihar Jail for their execution.

One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. 

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:18:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cji-bobde-recuses-from-hearing-nirbhaya-convicts-clemency-plea/article30329262.ece

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