The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday the review plea of Akshay Kumar Singh/Thakur, one of the four men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. The hearing on Singh’s review plea was delayed by a day after Chief Justice of India SA Bobde recused himself from hearing the review plea. CJI SA Bobde recused himself from the case because his nephew had represented Nirbhaya’s mother in a court earlier.
Akshay’s review plea was heard by a new three-judge Supreme Court bench today, beginning 1 PM. Earlier, the convict and the government placed their arguments before the court.
While Akshay Thakur’s lawyer AP Singh pleaded with the Supreme Court for mercy to him, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea, saying that the convict was not entitled to mercy in any way.
On the review plea of Akshay, convicted in the Nirbhaya case, Mehta argued that there were some crimes in which “humanity cries” and this case was one of them. The guilty is not entitled to any kind of leniency and “God would be ashamed after making such a monster”.
Mehta further said that the guilty of Nirbhaya case were making efforts to avoid what was inevitable and the law should do its job soon. The Supreme Court gave its final word on 1 o’clock today.
Earlier, the convict’s lawyer had argued that Akshay had been framed and convicted due to media and under political pressure. The convict’s lawyer also said that capital punishment was a primitive method not befitting a modern society.
But the three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi said there was no ground to review the verdict and that the arguments made by convict Akshay Thakur had already been considered by the apex court in the main judgment.
Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said she was very happy with the Supreme Court’s order.
The apex court said that Akshay Thakur could avail the remedy of filing a mercy plea within the time prescribed under the law. He has three weeks to appeal to President ram Nath Kovind for clemency.
The review petitions of the other convicts in the case, Vinay, Mukesh and Pawan, had been rejected last year. Akshay was the last of the four to move the petition.
Vinay attempted a delaying tactic by first appealing for clemency and then withdrawing the plea after it had reached the president with recommendations from the Delhi government and the Union Home Ministry not to pardon him.
Prime accused in the case, Ram Singh had committed suicide in Tihar Jail while one of the accused, Afroz, got away by producing a school certificate that showed he was six months short of 18 years at the time of committing the crime. Afroz leads a life of anonymity, working at a restaurant in a coastal city of southern India where his employer is not aware of his antecedents.