Supreme Court: Putting the last nail in the coffin for the Nirbhaya death row convicts who were hanged this morning, the 3-judge bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ dismissed the plea file by Pawan Kumar Gupta challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the President on the ground that his plea of juvenility had not been finally determined and this aspect was not kept in view by the President of India while rejecting his mercy plea.
The hearing that took place late at night at 2:30 AM.
The Court rejected Pawan’s plea of juvenility and held that the said plea has already been duly considered and rejected by the Courts before and there was no need to go into it again.
On the contention that due to torture in the prison the petitioner had sustained head injuries and that he was sutured with more than 10 sutures and proper treatment was not given to the petitioner, the Court held,
“The alleged torture, if any, in the prison cannot be a ground for judicial review of the executive order passed under Article 72 of the Constitution of India rejecting the mercy petition.”
On the ground that petitioner might not have shared the common intention along with other co-accused and that he cannot be imposed the grave capital punishment, the Court said that the said ground has been considered both by the Trial Court as well as the High Court and by this Court and the petitioner Pawan Kumar Gupta has been found guilty and convicted.
Hence, dismissing the petition the Court concluded,
“when the power is vested in the very high contitutional authority, it must be presumed that the said authority had acted carefully after considering all the aspects of the matter.”
The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. The friend with whom Nirbhaya boarded the bus was also beaten, gagged and knocked unconscious with an iron rod by the accused. He suffered broken limbs but survived.
[Pawan Kumar Gupta v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 340, decided on 20.03.2020]