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Nirbhaya case: President rejects convict’s mercy plea; hanging likely to happen on March 20

In another delaying tactic, Nirbhaya convict Akshay’s wife Punitha who had filed a divorce petition failed to turn up at the court for the hearing 

Nirbhaya case: President rejects convict's mercy plea; hanging likely to happen on March 20
New Delhi, First Published Mar 19, 2020, 3:33 PM IST
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the curative petition filed by Pawan Gupta, a convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. He had moved the Supreme Court with a curative petition to challenge the death sentence awarded to him.

In his petition, Pawan has claimed that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012 and that the lower courts had ignored this fact. Besides this, he argued that his death sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment because he was a minor at the time of the crime.

Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind too has refused to entertain the second mercy petition filed by Pawan Gupta and Akshay Kumar Singh.

A Delhi court has also averred that the convicts have used all legal resources available at their disposal. 

"No legal remedies are pending as of now. Pawan and Akshay's second mercy was also not entertained by the President of India," public prosecutor Irfan Ahmad told the court.

The latest petition came three days before the scheduled hanging of the four convicts on March 20. On March 5, a trial court issued fresh warrants for March 20 at 5.30 am, as the date for the execution of convicts Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case.

In another delaying tactic, convict Akshay’s wife Punitha who had filed a petition for divorce stating that she does not want to live as a widow of a person who is sentenced to death, failed to turn up at the court. The family’s court had given today’s date for the hearing in the divorce case. 

Due to the non-appearance of the court by Punita, the court was forced to give the next date in the divorce case. Now the next hearing of the case has been scheduled on 24 March. In such a case, the question remains if the scheduled hanging on March 20 will take place.

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