The four accused of 2012 gang-rape, torture and murder of a 23-year old medical student in Delhi are just a step away from being hanged as the Supreme court dismissed the last review petition in the case, filed by one of the convicts. Confirming the death sentence of convict Akshay Kumar Singh, the court said he had the option of pleading for mercy before the President of India and has a time period of one week to do so.
“Review petition is not re-hearing of the appeal over and over again,” a three-judge bench said and the reason for this was the similarity of arguments that were considered for petitions of the three other convicts requesting a review of their death sentence.
After this, a lower court was hesitant in carrying out a death warrant as Nirbhaya’s parents demanded, asking Tihar Jail instead when the convicts would file their mercy plea.
“I have been running from pillar to post for one year,” Nirbhaya’s mother broke down before the judge, who consoled her saying he was bound by the law.
“There are certain crimes where ‘humanity cries’ and this case is one of them. On that fateful day, God also must have held His head in shame for two reasons. First, for not being able to save the innocent girl, and second, for having created these five monsters,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said while representing the Delhi government.
Akshay Singh’s lawyer AP Singh argued there was media and public pressure to implicate him. The dying declaration of Nirbhaya was “doubtful and cannot be relied upon”
he said, also pointing to a recent book by a former jailer of the Tihar Jail, where the convicts are lodged.
“We can’t go by views of any author. We can’t go into all this now. This will set a dangerous trend if people start writing books after the trial is over and talk about such things,” said the Supreme Court.
The convict’s lawyer also said that a CBI inquiry was never carried out in the case referring to a case where CBI found out the real killer of a Delhi schoolboy, thus allowing the innocent bus conducter to walk away free.