The Supreme Court Monday, 2 March, dismissed the petition filed by a former high court judge seeking a direction to Tihar jail authorities here to give an option to four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case to offer their bodies for medical research and donate their organs.
“By way of PIL you can't seek such direction. If they (convicts) want to do it they can express such things by themselves or through their family members,” said a bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna.
When the counsel for petitioner- Justice (Retd) Michael F Saldanna, former judge of the Bombay High Court- continued with the submission, the bench said the petition by a former judge was “misconceived”.
“To execute a person is the saddest part for the family. You (petitioner) want their body to cut into pieces,” the bench said, adding that “have some human approach.”
“Organ donation has to be voluntary,” it further said.
The petitioner had asked the apex court to consider the “desirability of making it as a condition precedent in the case of all executions”.
The four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya case are- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31).
On 16 December 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.
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.