One of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case on Thursday, January 9, filed a curative petition before the Supreme Court against the death sentence. Exercising the last legal option against the death sentence, Vinay Sharma's advocate AP Singh filed the curative petition, the last legal recourse available to a convict.
A trial court has issued a death warrant against four rapists for their execution at 7 am on January 22. Mukesh Singh, 32, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, will be hanged at Tihar jail, where officials had started preparing a month ago.
"To eliminate systemic and political bias against the Petitioner, it is imperative that this case be reheard in open court by the senior-most judges of this Hon'ble Court without the Damocles sword of an execution warrant handing over the proceedings (sic)," Vinay Sharma said in his petition in the apex court.
The lawyer said the top court should have considered that Vinay was only 19 years old at the time of the incident. Young age and socio-economic background should have been considered as mitigating factors.
The plea also stated that SC has commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment in 17 other incidents of rape and murder, including that of minors. Same relief should be granted to Vinay Sharma.
Last month on December 18, the SC had dismissed the last review petition filed by Akshay Kumar Singh seeking review of its decision. Nirbhaya's parents then asked a lower court to issue a death warrant but the judge had deferred a decision until Tuesday.
Nirbhaya's gang-rape and murder
The December 16, 2012, Delhi gang-rape case involves six people of which Ram Singh is said to have committed suicide in Tihar jail and another was a juvenile convicted by a juvenile justice board. He served a three-year term in a reformation home and was released in 2016.
The gangrape and murder of the 23-year-old paramedic student on December 16, 2012, in New Delhi shook the nation and brought hundreds of people out on the streets in protest. The girl was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus. The rapists severely assaulted, gang-raped and tortured her on the night and her friend was also beaten up. They were then thrown out of the bus.
Nirbhaya fought for her life for several days and 11 days after the assault, she was transferred to a hospital in Singapore for emergency treatment. However, she succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.