Commute death sentence to life term: Nirbhaya convict Pawan Gupta's plea to SC
New Delhi, Feb 28: Another death-row convict Pawan Kumar Gupta on Friday filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the death penalty. The four convicts in 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case are scheduled to be executed on March 3.
In his plea to the Supreme Court, Pawan sought his death sentence to be commuted to a life imprisonment sentence.
This can be seen as another delay tactic by the convicts as fresh death warrants would have to be issued after the court hears the plea.
He is the only convict out of the four who has not exhausted his legal remedies.
Earlier on February 5, the Delhi high court had dismissed the Centre's plea against the trial court's order staying the execution of death sentence of the four convicts.
It also faulted the authorities concerned for not taking steps for issuance of death warrant after the rejection of appeals of the accused by the Supreme Court in 2017.
The trial court on February 17 issued fresh date for execution of death warrants for March 3 at 6 am for the four convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) -- in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
The top court had asked these four condemned prisoners to file their replies on the Centre''s appeal.
The mercy petitions of three convicts -- Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay -- have already been dismissed by the President.
The apex court had earlier dismissed separate pleas filed by Mukesh and Vinay challenging the rejection of their mercy petitions by the President.
Akshay has not yet challenged the rejection of his mercy petition.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who later came to be known as ''Nirbhaya'' (fearless), was gang raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died after a fortnight.
Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case.
The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.