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'File review petition soon': SC tells Nirbhaya gangrape case convict


New Delhi, Jan 22: Asserting that the court cannot wait for long, the Supreme Court on Monday asked one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case to soon file his plea seeking review of its verdict upholding death sentence awarded to him.

The Supreme Court

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was informed that one of the four convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh, has not yet filed the plea for review of the apex court's May 5 last year verdict. The top court had last year upheld the death penalty to the four convicts - Mukesh (29), Pawan (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31), saying the "brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature" of the crime could create a "tsunami of shock" to destroy a civilised society.

A 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in South Delhi by a gang of six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out naked. She succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

During the brief hearing today, the court asked advocate A P Singh, who is representing Akshay and two other convicts, as to why review petition has not yet been filed on behalf of Akshay. Singh told the bench, which also comprised Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, that he has filed review pleas on behalf of convicts Pawan and Vinay Sharma but because of some exigencies in Akshay's family, he could not file the same for him.

"This matter cannot go on like this. We cannot wait for you to file review petition for long," the bench observed after which the counsel said he would soon file a review plea.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing the Delhi Police, also told the bench that much time has gone by since the apex court's May last year verdict. The bench, while listing the matter for further hearing on February 16, asked Akshay's counsel to file the review plea by then. The top court had last month heard the arguments on the review petition filed by convict Mukesh which was opposed by the police.

The police had argued that submissions advanced by lawyer appearing for Mukesh does not make out a case for review of the apex court's judgement. The lawyer representing the convict had claimed that Mukesh was framed by the police and tortured and had also raised other issues, including that of dying declaration of the victim. Another accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail, while a convicted juvenile has come out of the reformation home after serving a three- year term.


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