Nirbhaya convict files another curative plea claiming juvenility

New Delhi: Pawan Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, on Tuesday again knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court claiming to be a juvenile.

In his second curative petition filed through his lawyer A.P. Singh, Pawan said that new evidence has emerged in the form of his school leaving certificate which claims that he was 16 years old when the crime took place.

“The new evidence is in the form of the school register of the school first attended by the petitioner which
records his date of birth as being 08.10.1996 which makes him 16 years 2 months and 8 days old on the date of the incident, which was 16.12.2012. This document is ante litem motam, as it pre-dates the date of the offence in the present case. It would be a travesty of justice to execute the petitioner in light of this new material,” the plea said.

The plea further alleges that the state has concealed the said fact. The petition prayed for a stay on the execution of the convict which is slated for March 20.

Meanwhile, advocate Singh also approached the National Human Rights Commission on behalf of deceased convict Ram Singh seeking compensation in regard of alleged custodial death of Ram Singh to his minor son.

The plea also sought stay on the execution of the four death row convicts.

On Monday, three death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case while praying for stay on their execution before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said that “Life is going short to short, why death?”

Giving reference of coronavirus and the deteriorating air quality in Delhi the convicts in their plea stated, “Everyone is aware of what is happening in the world and also Delhi NCR in regard of water and air. Life is going short to short, then why death penalty?”

The convicts also raised questions over the investigation of the case, stating, “Factors of caste and creed, financial status, political approach and pressure have become so important that investigators are hand picked for particular cases and where the establishment so wishes, the investigation is tailored to achieve a particular result. It is also depend upon the political power.”

The four convicts — Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar are scheduled to be executed on March 20 at 5:30 a.m.

The case pertains to the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl, later dubbed ‘Nirbhaya’, in the national capital in December 2012. Six people, including five convicts and a juvenile, were accused in the case.

One of the accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide in Tihar jail days after the trial began in the case. The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.

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