Nirbhaya case: SC throws out curative pleas of 2 death row convicts

Bench concludes that there is no merit in their pleas to spare them from the gallows.

Updated - January 15, 2020 01:17 am IST

Published - January 14, 2020 02:33 pm IST - New Delhi

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

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

The curative petitions of Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, who were sentenced to death in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, were rejected by a five-judge Supreme Court Bench, led by Justice N.V. Ramana, on Tuesday.

In a three-page order, the Bench concluded, after an in-chamber consideration that began about 1.45 p.m., that there was no merit in their pleas to spare them from the gallows.

“We have gone through the curative petitions and relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this court in Rupa Ashok Hurra versus Ashok Hurra. Hence, the curative petitions are dismissed,” the Bench held.

Curative is a rare remedy devised by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in its judgment in the Rupa Ashok Hurra case in 2002.

A party can take only two limited grounds in a curative petition — one, he was not heard by the court before the adverse judgment was passed, and two, the judge was biased.

A curative plea, which follows the dismissal of review petition, is the last legal avenue open for convicts in the Supreme Court. Sharma was the first among the four convicts to file a curative.

The Bench also rejected their pleas to stay the execution of their death sentence and for oral hearing in open court.

Besides Justice Ramana, the Bench comprised Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman, R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.

Mercy plea

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, Mukesh  filed a mercy plea before the President, Tihar jail authorities said.

Mukesh, Sharma, Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, and Pawan Gupta, 25, are scheduled to be hanged at 7 a.m. on January 22 in Tihar jail. A Delhi court issued their death warrants on January 7.

According to jail sources, Pawan Jallad from Meerut, who will carry out the hanging, will reach the jail on January 20. He will be given ₹15,000 per execution.

The family of all the four convicts are allowed to meet them twice a week.

On Tuesday, Vinay’s father came to meet him, while Mukesh’s mother keeps visiting him. His mother last met him two days ago, the sources said.

Pawan’s family members too visit him. They last visited him on January 7, they said.

Akshay’s wife last came to meet him in November and since the pronouncement of the execution date, no one from his family has come to meet him. He regularly speaks to his wife on phone.

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