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]


Also read:

[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

7 years later, finally, a closure for Nirbhaya’s family; All 4 convicts hanged to death

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              7 Years and a night of macabre of events, finally reached its climax at 5.30 a.m Tihar Jail.

Our Judicial System stood by the phrase — Justice delayed is not Justice denied.

Even hours before the execution, Advocates of the 4 convicts in the Nirbhaya Case were stalling around availing all the legal remedies that they could to stay the execution.

But the beautiful sunrise of 20-03-2020 brought an end to the horrifying night of 16-12-2012, this is the morning when Nirbhaya’s Soul would have been set free, it’s the day of freedom and justice for that one soul and hope for many others.

Execution of the 4 Convicts in the ghastly Nirbhaya Gang-Rape and Murder case went through several twists and turns especially every time the death warrant was issued but was stayed and not just once but four.

Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh were hanged till death after the exhaustion of all the legal remedies till the eleventh hour.

The question is where are we as a society on the scale of humanity?


Let’s have a look at the series of events that happened a night before the execution:

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.

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.

LIVE UPDATES OF LATE NIGHT HEARING AT Delhi High Court

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.”

[BREAKING] [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; Convicts to be hanged at 5.30 am today

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.

Special Bench to sit for hearing at Supreme Court after dismissal of petition on stay of execution by Delhi HC.

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]


Also Read:

Nirbhaya Gangrape Case: Story From A Different World Where Humanity Has Been Treated With Irreverence

Hot Off The PressNews

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.

Special Bench to sit for hearing at Supreme Court after dismissal of petition on stay of execution by Delhi HC.

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.”

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has received a complaint from Smt. Ram Bai, a resident of Ravidas Camp, R.K. Puram, Delhi through her counsel Dr. A.P. Singh seeking urgent intervention by the Commission in the matter to prevent alleged unlawful execution of her son, Mukesh Kumar who is presently confined at Jail No. 3, Tihar in Delhi in case FIR No. 413/2012 registered at Police Station Vasant Vihar, Delhi. The complainant has stated that all the accused including her son have been falsely implicated in the case and their execution in compliance of the court orders will be a miscarriage of justice. The complainant has stated that her son is also a witness in the case of custodial death of the co-accused Ram Singh who died inside Tihar jail, on 11.03.2013. The complainant has alleged many flaws in the investigation of the case registered in connection with the custodial death of the deceased prisoner, Ram Singh and that no compensation has been given to the NOK of the deceased prisoner.

It is further mentioned by the complainant that legal remedies/cases are pending for disposal before different courts/ constitutional bodies on behalf of the death row convicts, including her son but the authorities are still planning to hang them, on 20.03.2020. The complainant has also stated that due to various kind of viral infections, pollution and other hazards, the life has become very short in Delhi NCR region hence, the death penalty and its execution is not at all justifiable.

The complainant has requested the Commission to stay the execution of the death sentence imposed on the convicts including her son which is fixed for 20.03.2020.

The Commission has carefully examined the contents of the complaint. The son of the complainant is one of the accused in a case Crime No. 413/12 registered at PS Vasant Vihar in which death sentence has been awarded by the competent court and upheld by the Apex court. The case relating to the death of one of the accused in this criminal case, Ram Singh had come before the Commission when an intimation was received from the jail authorities in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Commission directing the authorities to report all the custodial deaths to it within 24 hours of the occurrence.

The case was registered vide No. 1543/30/9/2013-JCD. The matter was taken up by the Investigation Division of the Commission and the requisite reports were obtained from the authorities concerned. A magisterial enquiry was also conducted in the matter. There were some allegations raised by the family members that the deceased prisoner had not committed suicide and he was killed in the judicial custody. The Inquiry Magistrate after examination had held that there was no foul play or negligence in this case of custodial death and the Commission, upon consideration of the reports and the recommendations made by its Investigation Division, had closed the case, on merits. Since, there was no negligence on the part of any of the authorities, no compensation was recommended by the Commission.

Upon perusal, the Commission has not found any substance sufficient for taking cognizance of the matter. The case relating to custodial death of the deceased co-prisoner Ram Singh has been disposed of by the Commission on merits, as explained above. So far as the prayer made by the complainant to stay execution of the death sentence is concerned, it is apparent that the said convict Mukesh Kumar has already approached the appropriate authorities and the authorities have exercised their jurisdiction judiciously. The matter is outside the purview of the Commission. The complaint is, therefore, dismissed in limini.


NHRC

Press Release dt. 17-03-2020

Hot Off The PressNews

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and C Hari Shankar, J. declined to entertain a petition seeking directions to NHRC to intervene and enquire into the mental and physical state of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

Bench stated that the said petition should have been filed in National Human Rights commission (NHRC).

Petition had also referred to the allegations that the four were facing physical abuse in the prison. Petitioner advocate also claimed 4 convicts have been kept in solitary confinement under fear of death “on the whims and fancies” of the authorities and it can affect their mental stability.


[Source: PTI]

Hot Off The PressNews

Delhi High Court refuses to interfere in the stay order pronounced by the trial court on staying the execution of the convicts in the Nirbhaya case until further orders.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait directed convicts to file any application which they want within one week after which authorities should act.

Court also directed that all the convicts are to be hanged together.


Also Read:

Delhi High Court commenced proceedings in regard to hearing a challenge placed by the Centre after the 4 convicts execution was “stayed” by Delhi’s Patiala House Court.

Centre had challenged the stay on the execution of the convicts, which was scheduled for 01-02-2020.

As reported by PTI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that: there is a deliberate, calculated and well thought of design by the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case convicts to “frustrate mandate of law” by getting their execution delayed.

Senior advocate Rebecca John, representing the fourth convict Mukesh Kumar, raised a preliminary objection on the Centre’s plea saying it was not maintainable.

Mehta told Justice Suresh Kait that convict Pawan Gupta’s move of not filing a curative or a mercy petition is deliberate, calculated inaction.

[Story to be updated]


Media Reports

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Almost after 5 years of the commission of the horrendous crime that shook not only the nation but the world, the Court upheld the death penalty of the 4 accused persons in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case, where a 23-year old girl was gangraped and tortured in a moving bus in Delhi on 16.12.2012. She succumbed to her injuries 13 days later in a hospital in Singapore. The Court said that It sounds like a story from a different world where humanity has been treated with irreverence.

Writing down a 429 page long judgment, the Court noticed that attacking the deceased by forcibly disrobing her and committing violent sexual assault by all the appellants; and insertion of rod in her private parts that, inter alia, caused perforation of her intestine which caused sepsis and, ultimately, led to her death, shows that the accused persons had found an  object for enjoyment in her and, as is evident, they were obsessed with the singular purpose sans any feeling to ravish her as they liked, treat her as they felt and the gross sadistic and beastly instinctual pleasures came to the forefront when they, after ravishing her, thought it to be just a matter of routine to throw her alongwith her friend out of the bus and crush them. The Court said that the casual manner with which she was treated and the devilish manner in which they played with her identity and dignity is humanly inconceivable.

R Banumathi, J, emphasizing upon the need for actions against the crime against women, said that the offences against women are not a women’s issue alone but, human rights issue. Increased rate of crime against women is an area of concern for the law-makers and it points out an emergent need to study in depth the root of the problem and remedy the same through a strict law and order regime. There are a number of legislations and numerous penal provisions to punish the offenders of violence against women. However, it becomes important to ensure that gender justice does not remain only on paper. She added that public at large, in particular men, are to be sensitized on gender justice.

The Trial Court awarded capital punishment to the accused considering the gruesome manner in which the offence was committed and the Delhi High Court had upheld the decision of the Trial Court. Ram Singh, the prime accused, had committed suicide in his cell in Tihar Jail in the year 2013.

On 03.02.2017, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, JJ allowed the accused persons to file affidavits along with documents stating about the mitigating circumstances. However, after consciously and anxiously weighing the aggravating circumstances and the mitigating factors, the Court held that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances now brought on record. [Mukesh v. State for NCT of Delhi, (2017) 6 SCC 1, decided on 05.05.2017]