New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the curative petition of one of the four death row convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh, in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
SC also rejected Akshay's plea that sought a stay on his execution. "The application for oral hearing is rejected. The application for stay of execution of death sentence is also rejected," said the 5-judge bench, which heard the petition in their chamber.
"We have gone through the curative petitions and relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra & Another, reported in 2002 (4) SCC 388. Hence, the curative petitions are dismissed," the bench said.
The bench comprised Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.
Akshay had said that in its confidence of handing out the death penalty as 'proportional' punishment on the basis of how brutal the crime is, the inconsistency of the court and all other criminal courts was exposed in the country. "They have handed out the death penalty as panacea for public pressure and public opinion on violence against women, despite no evidentiary link between its selective application and reduction in crime," he said.
He also contended that as many as 17 cases involving rape and murder in which various three-judge benches of the apex court had commuted the sentence of death.
Curative petition is the last legal recourse available to a person in a court of law. Now, Akshay has the option to move a mercy plea before the President. He was the third convict to move the curative plea after Mukesh Kumar Singh and Vinay Kumar Sharma, which had already been dismissed by SC. The fourth convict, Pawan Gupta, has not yet filed a curative petition.
The four convicts in the case were issued black warrants for the second time for their execution on January 17. The execution is to take place in the Tihar Jail at 6 am on February 1.
Previously, on January 7, the court had fixed January 22 as the hanging date.
As of now, only Mukesh has exhausted all his legal remedies including the clemency plea which was dismissed by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 17. His appeal against the rejection was thrown out by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.