New Delhi: The Supreme Court has rejected the review plea filed by Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the convicts, in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. However, he can apply for the mercy petition in three weeks, the court said. Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi, welcomed the verdict and said that it is a way forward in their battle for justice.

The courtroom argument on Wednesday took an interesting turn as the lawyer of the petitioner claimed that he has new evidence and that his client was implicated.

The lawyer defending Akshay Kumar Singh in his review petition which came for the hearing in front of a three-judge bench on the Supreme Court on Wednesday claimed that his client has been implicated. Arguing against the efficacy of the death penalty, Dr AP Singh, the lawyer said that execution does not kill the crime, it only kills the criminal.

Dr AP Singh said that Nirbhaya’s dying declaration was doubtful. This was tutored. This was not voluntary. She hasn’t named Akshay as the accused who had committed the offence. He also raised questions on the star witness, Amarinder Pandey, and said, his evidence and submissions in the case is unreliable. Pointing to a book by a former jailer of the Tihar Jail, Black Warrant: Confessions of a Tihar Jailer, which raises questions about the suicide of Ram Singh, one of the accused.

From the beginning of the hearing, the bench made it clear that it was not much impressed by the new claims. “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. There will be no end if we start entertaining all these arguments now. He should have offered himself at the time of trial. What can be the purpose of writing all this now? How can we reply on it,” SC said.

Finally, the bench said it didn’t find any flaw in the 2017 verdict which awarded death penalty to all the four.