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Why give death penalty when Delhi air is reducing life? Nirbhaya convict to SC


New Delhi, Dec 10: Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the four convicts moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking review of its 2017 judgment handing down the death penalty to all of them in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

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Akshay's petition states that he does not deserve death given the environmental conditions in the national capital.

"It is important to note here that the air quality of Delhi-NCR and metro city is like a gas chamber. Not only this, but the water of Delhi-NCR is also full of poison. This fact is proved by the Government of India report submitted in the Parliament," said his plea.

"Everyone is aware of what is happening in Delhi-NCR with regard to air and water. Life is going to be short, then why the death penalty?", it added.

"When a person faces the stark realities of life and passes through the adverse situation, then he is no better than a dead man," stated Akshay's plea.

Nirbhaya rape case: Tihar jail official approaches other prisons for hangmanNirbhaya rape case: Tihar jail official approaches other prisons for hangman

The top court, on July 9, 2018, had dismissed the review pleas filed by three other convicts Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24), in the case.

Akshay, 31, who had not filed the review plea earlier with other three convicts, has now moved the apex court with the petition, his lawyer AP Singh said.

The apex court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case of gangrape and murder of the woman here.

One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.

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.

'Nirbhaya', meaning fearless, is the changed name of the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who was raped and brutalised in a moving bus in south Delhi by six men, including the bus driver, conductors and helpers, on December 16, 2012.

After receiving treatment in New Delhi for a few days, she was transferred to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where she succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012.

All the accused in the case, including a juvenile, were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of them, Ram Singh, died in police custody. The rest went on trial in a fast-track court.

The juvenile was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment in a reform facility.

On September 10, 2013, the four remaining adult accused were found guilty of rape and murder and three days later, sentenced to death by hanging.

On March 13, 2014, the Delhi High Court upheld the verdict and the death sentences.

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