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Supreme Court throws out Nirbhaya gang rape convict’s plea

The convicts in Nirbhaya rape case

The convicts in Nirbhaya rape case   | Photo Credit: PTI

Petition was against the Delhi HC’s rejection of his claim that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea of Nirbhaya gang rape convict Pawan Kumar Gupta against the Delhi High Court's rejection of his claim that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice R. Banumathi said that though the plea of juvenility could be made by an accused at any stage of the case, it cannot be reagitated time and again once successive courts have rejected the claim.

During the two-hour long hearing that continued through the lunch break, advocate A.P. Singh, for Gupta, said there was a “big conspiracy” afoot to conceal his client's real age.

Reading out the order in open court, Justice Banumathi, for the Bench also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna, said the claim of juvenility and materials produced were considered and decided unfavourably to Gupta by the magistrate in 2013 and later on by the Delhi High Court and finally the Supreme Court in July 2018 in review.

Also read | Chronology of events in Nirbhaya case

“Your issue that Pawan Gupta is a juvenile was argued and decided against you in the review on July 9 by the Supreme Court. This issue was heard and dismissed on the same material. Can this be repeatedly agitated, this will be never-ending...” Justice Bhushan addressed Mr. Singh.

“The magistrate had considered your juvenility plea and rejected it in 2013. The High Court also rejected. The Supreme Court rejected in review. How many times, Sir... How many times, Sir, will you raise this plea?” Justice Banumathi remarked.

The special leave petition filed against the December 19 dismissal came after a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice N.V. Ramana last week rejected the curative petitions of two other Nirbhaya death row convicts, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh.

The President has also rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh.

The Supreme Court recently dismissed a review petition filed by another one of the four condemned men, Akshay Singh, to review its May 5, 2017 judgment confirming the death penalty in the case.

Akshay, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay had brutally gangraped 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.

An accused, Ram Singh, 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 | Feb 27, 2020 9:23:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-dismisses-nirbhaya-gang-rape-convicts-plea/article30607029.ece

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