New Delhi: In a significant development to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed plea of Pawan Gupta, one of death convicts in the case. Gupta had filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the apex court claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of committing the crime.
“Pawan’s age was 17 years, 1 month and 20 days, when the offence was committed, that’s why his role should be considered as a juvenile in the case”, AP Singh, lawyer for convict Pawan K Gupta had stated before SC.
Responding to Singh, the top court’s three-judge bench comprising Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna said,”How many times we will hear the same things, you have raised it already many times.”
Notably, Gupta had moved the top court challenging the Delhi High Court order declining to entertain his plea that he was a juvenile when the offence was committed.
In January 2013, a Juvenile Board had declared that Pawan was not a juvenile when he committed the offence.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the prosecution has consistently maintained that the convict was not a juvenile when the offence was committed. “Birth certificate of Pawan Kumar has been filed on record. The parents have confirmed the age of their wards and never disputed the age at the time of the commission of the offence”, said Mehta.
Notably, Gupta’s plea was filed, on a day when a Delhi court issued a new death warrant for the execution of the four convicts. The four, who were earlier scheduled to be hanged at 7 AM on January 22, will now be hanged at 6 AM on February 1.
The execution date had to be changed due to the mercy plea filed by one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, to President Ram Nath Kovind. As per prison rules, a death row convict can only be hanged 14 days after the rejection of his mercy petition.