Case BriefsSupreme Court

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]


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[Midnight Hearing of the Gruesome – Nirbhaya Case] |Petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy petition and seeking stay on execution — dismissed

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The convicts are to be hanged at 5.30 a.m. and the legal remedies in the Nirbhaya Verdict are still being availed by the convicts.

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Bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna, JJ. decided, that

Petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy petition and seeking stay on execution — dismissed; Convicts to be hanged at 5.30 am today.

Live Updates

Supreme Court to hear the petition of all four death row convicts, seeking stay on execution.

Advocate A.P. Singh has challenged the order passed by the Delhi High Court.

Bench of Justice R. Banumathi to sit for the hearing.

Hearing at the Supreme Court has begun. Less than 3 hours remaining for the scheduled execution of the Nirbhaya Convicts.

Supreme Court begins hearing in the petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy plea by the President and seeking stay on execution. [ANI]

Bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna, JJ. hearing the petition.

Advocate A.P. Singh makes his submissions before the Bench.

Advocate AP Singh appearing for convict Pawan shows to court school certificate, school register,& attendance register of Pawan claiming he was juvenile at the time of crime. Justice Bhushan says these documents were already filed by him before courts. [ANI]

Justice Bhushan asks what are the grounds on which AP Singh (advocate of convicts) is challenging the rejection of mercy petition? Justice Bhushan further says AP Singh is raising grounds which have already been argued. [ANI]

We are not inclined to entertain the plea Supreme Court observes.[ANI]

AP Singh, advocate of death row convicts says – I know they will be hanged but can it (execution) be stayed for two- three days to record (convict Pawan’s) statement. [ANI]

Justice Banumathi is dictating the Order.

Supreme Court dismisses the petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy plea by the President and seeking stay on execution.

A. P Singh, advocate of death row convicts asks court to allow family members of convicts to meet them for the last time for 5-10 minutes. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says jail rules doesn’t permit it and it is painful for both sides. [ANI]

Hot Off The PressNews

LIVE UPDATES OF LATE NIGHT HEARING

Justice Manmohan to AP Singh: We’re close to the time when your client will meet the God. Don’t waste time. We’ll not be able to help you in the eleventh hour if you cannot raise an important point. You have only 4-5 hours. If you have a point then come to it. [ANI]

“Law favours those who take timely action. For 2 and a half years till March 4, 2020, what have you been doing? You are blaming us? It is already 10.45 pm, execution is at 5.30 am. Give us a substantive point.”

Bench tells advocate AP Singh, time is running out, there is not enough time.

Delhi HC says divorce plea of convict Akshay Kumar Singh’s wife not relevant to stay execution. [PTI]

These are death warrants. This is the fourth one. Some sanctity should be given to them: Court [ANI]

Advocate AP Singh says, justice hurried is justice buried. Court says to Singh, you have not raised a single legal point.

We find no foundation in your plea says Delhi High Court.

Delhi High Court dismisses the petition filed by the death row convicts. To be hanged tomorrow morning at 5.30 a.m.

Lawyer Shams Khawaja, appearing for convicts, begins making submissions.[ANI]

President of India at an event made public his sentiments that death row convicts in sexual assault cases do not deserve mercy. He was prejudiced against us even before the first mercy plea. [ANI]

Court: Once a Judge signs a Judgment, he cannot touch that again. You want to carry on, go on! We will sit here till 5.30 am and pass the judgment. Be our guest to take it beyond 5.30 am and then we will pass the judgment.

Court expresses displeasure over lawyers continuing arguments.

Delhi High Court says no foundation has been given in the petition. It has been filed without any index, list of dates, memo of parties, annexures or any affidavits. [ANI]

Advocate A.P. Singh representing the Convicts says: “Will go to Supreme Court when I get the order copy. I have spoken to Registrar, I will go to him.”

Hot Off The PressNews

Delhi’s Patiala House court dismissed the petition filed by the Convicts of the Nirbhaya Gang Rape and Murder Case.

The petition was filed with regard to staying of their execution scheduled for tomorrow at Tihar Jail.

The four convicts are set to be hanged tomorrow. The four convicts approached courts filing pleas seeking relief from the capital punishment.

The four men have been convicted for the gang-rape and murder of a young woman who was brutally assaulted in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012.


What happened in the Supreme Court, earlier this day?

Supreme Court: The Court has dismissed the curative petition of Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, who had moved the court against the dismissal of his review plea. In his petition, Pawan has claimed that he was juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012.

This comes as Gupta, along with three other convicts, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, and Vinay Sharma. are scheduled to be hanged on March 20 at 5.30 am.

Three of the four death row convicts in the Delhi gangrape case, including Gupta, had also approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) earlier this month, seeking a stay on the execution of their death sentence.

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. Besides Mukesh, three others – Akshay, Vinay, and Pawan are facing the gallows for the heinous crime that shook the entire nation. One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.

On July 9, 2018 , the Court had dismissed the review pleas filed by the three convicts in the case, saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.

On December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ rejected the review petition of the last convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, seeking modification and leniency.

On January 21, 2020, the 3-judge bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ had dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed by Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya Gang rape case where he “reagitated” the plea of juvenility.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. Two of the convicts are yet to file curative petitions before the Supreme Court.

Another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in March 2013 during the trial. Another convict, who was a minor at the time of the crime, was sent to a reform facility and released after three years of the crime.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J., dismissed an execution first appeal filed against the order of Additional District Judge whereby appellants objection to the execution of a money decree sought by decree-holder against the judgment-debtor was dismissed.

It was contended by the appellant-objector that she was the sole owner of the two properties attached in the execution and the judgment-debtor, her son, had no right over them. The Executing Court dismissed the objections of the appellant holding that in proof of her title to the said properties, the appellant filed only a Power of Attorney of her husband in her favour which wasn’t sufficient. Counsel for the appellant submitted that there was a family settlement, however, neither was any such settlement pleaded in the objections nor any document filed in that regard.

The High Court was of the view that it appeared that the purpose was to delay the execution. The appellant and the judgment-debtors were hand-in-glove with each other and were not making a clean breast of state of affairs. In Court’s opinion, it was an attempt to fabricate the documents. Furthermore, one of the judgment-debtors had already left India. The court observed that appellant-objector could not on one hand claim arms length distance from judgment-debtors and on the other hand represent their interest. The appeal was held to be an abuse of process of Court and thus dismissed.[Charanjit Kaur Virk v. Premlata Sharma,2018 SCC OnLine Del 12020, dated 15-10-2018]