New Delhi: In a big development to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, the Supreme Court will today hear a plea of Pawan Gupta, one of death convicts in the case. The development comes as Gupta on Friday filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the apex court claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of committing the crime. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: Tihar Jail Authorities Seek Services of Pawan, Hangman From Meerut, For Execution of Rapists on Feb 1
“Gupta was a juvenile at the time of the crime and the Delhi High Court had ignored this fact during the proceeding,” Gupta’s lawyer AP Singh had told ANI. Also Read - Who is Indira Jaising to Advise Me? Says Nirbhaya's Mother as Advocate Urged Asha Devi to Forgive Convicts
The Supreme Court’s three-judge bench comprising Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna will on Monday hear Gupta’s plea who has challenged the Delhi High Court’s December 19 order, rejecting his plea of being a juvenile at the time of the crime. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: Fresh Preparations Begin at Tihar Jail; All Four Convicts Under 24X7 Suicide Watch
While filing the plea, through lawyer AP Singh, Gupta has claimed that new evidence of his school certificate has emerged, which states his date of birth as October 8, 1996.
In the plea, he has also claimed that the High Court passed the order without the presence of his counsel and without checking the certificate. “This is in violation of the basic principle of natural justice,” he said in the plea.
Arguing for Gupta, advocate AP Singh stated that when the question of the age of Pawan was decided by the trial court in 2013, his client was not represented by any counsel. “The trial court went on to decide his age based on a police report,” lawyer AP Singh stated.
Cancelling the earlier date of execution, a Delhi court had on January 18 issued a fresh death warrant against the four death-row convicts who will now be executed on February 1 at 6 AM.
The new date of execution came after the public prosecutor representing the Tihar jail authorities requested the court to issue fresh date and time of execution.
The four convicts – Vinay, Akshay, Pawan and Mukesh – were convicted and sentenced to death by the Delhi court for raping a 23-year-old paramedic student in a moving bus in the national capital on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012.