Supreme Court adjourns hearing as Chief Justice SA Bobde recuses himself
The Supreme Court, on December 17, adjourned the hearing of a review petition filed by one of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case against his death sentence. The move came in after Chief Justice of India SA Bobde recused himself and said the case will be heard by a new bench.
CJI Bobde recused himself from the case as his daughter had once appeared on behalf of the victim, CNN News18 has reported. The news channel has also reported that CJI Bobde will constitute a bench at 10:30 am tomorrow to hear the review petition.
The Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by Akshay Kumar Singh – one of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case – seeking a review of the 2017 apex court judgment, which had upheld his death penalty in the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic on December 16, 2012.
The 23-year-old paramedic student was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
On July 9, 2018, the apex court had dismissed the review petitions filed by the other three convicts – Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24) – in the case, saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.
One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Delhi's Tihar Jail. Another accused, who was a juvenile at the time the crime was committed, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.
The top court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.
"The state must not simply execute people to prove that it is attacking terror or violence against women. It must persistently work towards systematic reforms to bring about change. Executions only kill the criminal, not the crime...," Akshay Kumar Singh's review plea, filed through advocate A P Singh, said.
Akshay, lodged in a jail in New Delhi, has further said death penalty entails "cold blooded killing" and does not provide convicts the chance to reform themselves.
After exhausting the remedy of filing curative pleas, the convicts can send their mercy pleas to the President.