PIL in SC for execution of death penalty awarded to four in Nirbhaya case

A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court Thursday seeking directions to immediately execute the death penalty awarded to four convicts of the sensational Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.

The 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in South Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

The apex court, on July 9, had dismissed the pleas of three convicts – Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24) and Vinay Sharma (25) – seeking review of the apex court verdict which had upheld the judgments of Delhi High Court and the lower court in the case.

The fourth death convict Akshay Kumar Singh (33) so far has not filed the review plea in the apex court.

The apex court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.

The fresh PIL, filed by lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava, said despite a lapse of more than four and a half months from the date of dismissal of the review petitions of three convicts, the death penalty has not yet been executed.

The plea said that in rape-cum-murder cases, the fate of the accused must be decided in a period of eight months from the lower court to the apex court.

Such delay in execution of death penalty is acting as a bad precedent and has resulted in increasing incidents of rapes being reported on daily basis, it said.

The plea said the fact that the death row convicts have not yet been hanged despite elapse of more than five years of their initial conviction "apparently gives an impression in the minds of the rapists that they would also be harmless if they commit such heinous crimes" .

The plea also sought guidelines to prescribe strict timelines for speedy execution of death row convicts in rape-cum-murder cases, so that the remedies of appeal in high court, appeal, review, curative petition in the apex court and mercy petition before the president are exhausted by the convicts within maximum period of eight months.

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