Nirbhaya case: Supreme Court rejects review petition, all four rape accused to be hanged
The Supreme Court rejected convict Akshay Kumar Singh’s review petition stating that the contentions raised in his petition had already been considered earlier.
The Supreme Court of India rejected the review petition of Nirbhaya rape convict Akshay Kumar Singh on December 18, 2019. With this, the court upheld the death sentence of all four accused in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi stated that it had found no ground to review its 2017 verdict on the Nirbhaya case.
A new bench was constituted to hear the review petition after CJI SA Bobde recused himself from the hearing citing personal grounds on December 17. The review petitions of the other three convicts had been dismissed earlier.
Nirbhaya case judgment: Key Highlights
• The Supreme Court rejected convict Akshay Kumar Singh’s review petition stating that the contentions raised in his petition had already been considered when the main judgement was delivered in 2017.
• The court ruled that the review petition is not re-hearing the appeal, again and again, saying that similar arguments had been considered while hearing the review petitions of the other three convicts as well.
• In his review petition, the rape convict had argued that Delhi has become a gas chamber and the life-span of a person was short anyway because of the air pollution.
• Akshay Singh's advocate AP Singh argued that there was a lot of media and public pressure to implicate him and raised questions on the evidence against him, alleging that the dying declaration of Nirbhaya was cannot be relied upon.
• After the verdict, his counsel A P Singh sought three weeks' time to file the mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind.
• The bench turned down the request stating that the mercy petition can be filed only within the stipulated time, as mentioned under the law, which is one week.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy student was gang-raped in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. She was also savagely tortured with an iron rod and then dumped on the road. Her friend was beaten up badly.
The shocking incident paved the way for nation-wide protests, calling for stricter norms against rape and speedy disposal of such cases. Despite best efforts to revive her, Nirbhaya (the name given to the victim by media) passed away on December 29, 2012.
Overall, five men including Ram Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta and a juvenile were convicted in the case in 2017.
The review petitions of the three other convicts, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma had been dismissed earlier. The fifth convict, Ram Singh had committed suicide in the Tihar jail in 2015 and the sixth convict, the juvenile was released in 2015 after three years of punishment in a reform home.