The hearing on the petition filed by Pawan Gupta, one of the death row convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape will begin in the Supreme court shortly. Pawan Gupta in his petition points out that he was a minor during the incident and pleads mercy to downgrade the death sentence to life imprisonment.
High Court had earlier rejected his review petition citing juvenility claim observing there is nothing anew for reviewing as the death penalty awarded to him in the case before the Supreme Court which had dismissed his plea on July 9, last year. Pawan claimed that as per his school certificate his date of birth was October 8, 1996, which makes him a minor at the time he was involved in the gang rape of Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old Paramedic student. It is noteworthy that Pawan was recorded as the most brutal of the six rapists who assaulted Nirbhaya in the FIR.
Pawan had also pleaded to suspend the death penalty which is fixed for February 1. Pawan Gupta has not yet filed for a curative petition while the other two convicts Mukesh and Vinay’s curative petition were rejected by Supreme Court one week before. The mercy plea of Mukesh was rejected by the President which brings him straight down the noose loop.
The review petitions, curative petitions, and the mercy plea forwarded each time are widely regarded as an attempt by the culprits to extend the death penalty. As per regulations, a minimum of 14 days has to be given to a death convict, after the President rejects the mercy plea before he is hanged. This period is given to complete the will and other commitments of the convict.