Nirbhaya death-row convict Pawan Kumar Gupta filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the death penalty. The four convicts in 2012 gang-rape and murder case are scheduled to be executed on March 3.
Pawan Gupta in his plea has sought his death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.
This can be seen as another delay tactic employed by the convicts as fresh death warrants would have to be issued after the court hears the plea.
He is the only convict out of the four who has not exhausted his legal remedies–curative petition, mercy plea, and review of the mercy.
A local Delhi court on February 17 issued death warrants for the third time for the hanging of the convicts.
Earlier, they were slated to be executed on January 22 which was postponed to February 1, however, a Delhi court on January 31, indefinitely suspended the execution of the convicts, noting that all the convicts had not exhausted their legal remedies.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as ”Nirbhaya”, was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.
Six people, including the four convicts, Ram Singh and a juvenile — were named as accused.
The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013.
Ram Singh, the prime accused, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.
The juvenile was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. He, when released, was 20 years old.
The trial of the four adults began in a special fast-track court in March 2013 and they were sentenced to death in September 2013 by the trial court.