Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, on Friday (February 28) moved a curative plea in the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on his execution on March 3. Besides, Gupta has also sought commutation of his death penalty to life imprisonment.
Gupta has filed the curative plea saying that the death penalty should not awarded to him, his counsel AP Singh said. A trial court had on February 17 issued a fresh date for execution of Gupta and three other condemned prisoners at 6 am on March 3.
He is the lone convict who has not exhausted his legal remedies of filing a curative petition — last legal remedy available to a person — and subsequent mercy plea with the President.
The mercy petitions of three convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) — have already been dismissed by the President.
The apex court had earlier dismissed separate pleas filed by Mukesh and Vinay challenging the rejection of their mercy petitions by the President. Akshay has not yet challenged the rejection of his mercy petition.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as ‘Nirbhaya’ (fearless), was gang raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died after a fortnight in a Singapore hospital.
Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly 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.
(With inputs from agencies)