Nirbhaya Case: SC Rejects Death Row Convict’s Plea on Juvenility

The apex court said there was no ground to interfere with the high court order that rejected Pawan Kumar’s plea.

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The Supreme Court on Monday, 20 January, rejected the plea of a death row convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case challenging the Delhi High Court order, which had dismissed his claim of being a juvenile at the time of commission of offence.

A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bushan and AS Bopanna dismissed the plea of the death row convict, Pawan Kumar Gupta, and upheld the Delhi High Court verdict.

The apex court said there was no ground to interfere with the high court order that rejected Pawan's plea, and his claim was rightly rejected by the trial court as also the high court.

Advocate AP Singh, appearing for Pawan, said that as per his school-leaving certificate, he was a minor at the time of the offence and none of the courts, including the trial court and high court, ever considered his documents.

Convict Was 19 Years Old at the Time of Offence: Delhi Police

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Delhi Police, said that his claim of juvenility was considered at each and every judicial forum, and it will be a travesty of justice if the convict is allowed to raise the clam of juvenility repeatedly and at this point of time.

He said the convict was 19 years old at the time of offence and there is a certified copy of his birth certificate as well as school-leaving certificate which was taken on record by each and every judicial forum.

Pawan had moved the apex court on Friday. He has also sought a direction restraining the authorities from executing the death penalty, scheduled for 1 February.

A Delhi court on Friday issued fresh death warrants for 1 February against the four convicts – Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31), Mukesh Kumar Singh (32) and Pawan (25) – in the case.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as ‘Nirbhaya’, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of 16-17 December 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before she was thrown out on the road.

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