NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear next month the pleas of the four death row convicts of the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case, seeking review of its verdict upholding the death sentence awarded to them.
One of the convicts has filed a review petition so far, though the counsel for the other three convicts told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that he would file the application seeking review of the apex court’s judgement within three weeks.
The court said it would hear the pleas on December 12.
The apex court had on May 5 upheld the death penalty to the four convicts – Mukesh (29), Pawan (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31), saying the “brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature” of the crime could create a “tsunami of shock” to destroy a civilised society.
A 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in South Delhi by a gang of six people and severely assaulted before being thrown out naked. She succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
During the hearing, advocate ML Sharma, representing convict Mukesh, told the bench that there were certain issues which were not considered by the apex court while upholding the capital punishment awarded to him.
He claimed before the bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, that there were discrepencies in the prosecution’s version about Mukesh’s presence in the bus on that night and one of the key witness had improved his statement in the court in this regard.
He also alleged that the convict was tortured by the police and he had filed application on this issue before the trial court as well as the Delhi High Court.
The bench asked advocate AP Singh, who represents the other three convicts, whether he had filed an application seeking review of the verdict on behalf of Pawan, Vinay and Akshay.
Singh told the court that he was in touch with the jail authorities to get the documents signed from the convicts and would file the review petition on their behalf later.
When Sharma urged the bench to seek a reply from the Delhi Police on the review petition, the court referred to a constitution bench judgement and said a review plea has to be heard within 30 minutes and there was no need of issuing notice on the plea. Sharma then sought some time to argue the matter.
“Advocate M L Sharma, appearing for Mukesh, prays for some time to argue the matter. Advocate A P Singh, appearing for Akshay, Pawan and Vinay says that review applications on their behalf will be filed within three weeks from hence. Let all the review petitions be listed for hearing on December 12,” the bench said.
Another accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail, while a convicted juvenile has come out of the reformation home after serving a three- year term.