Very recently, the Delhi Sessions Court ordered the execution of the remaining four convicts in the Nirbhaya case, accused of gang rape of a paramedical student. Currently, they have also been sentenced to death penalty pending on January 22nd, 2020 at the Tihar Jail. Out of the four convicts, two of them have separately filed for a curative petition, exercising their last legal remedy before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
These petitions have been filed after the dismissal of the review petition, filed by Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the convicts, involved in the rape case. The review petition was sought on the grounds that the ‘increasing pollution’ has raised their mortality rates and consequently, they should be granted some leniency. However, the three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi found no fundamental grounds to review the verdict and the contentions raised by the convict were already under consideration, in the ultimate judgment. Moreover, the Court has also declined the convict’s right to seek a mercy plea before the President of India.
A curative petition was introduced by the Supreme Court of India, in the case of Rupa Ashok Hurra v Ashok Hurra and Anr (2002) where the main contention that arose was, whether the aggrieved party is entitled to any relief, against the final verdict announced by the Supreme Court, primarily after the dismissal of the review petition.
In the Nirbhaya case, the curative petition has been filed on the grounds, that there has been a distinct change in the law, regarding death penalty. These petitions shall be heard individually on January 14th, 2020 to decide whether there will be a hold on the death penalty and a reduction in the punishment sentence of the accused.
The question that arises now is whether the Supreme Court will resort to compassion and reduce their punishment sentence or dismiss the petition and uphold the judgment of awarding death penalty to the convicts responsible for brutally raping and monstrously assaulting a young 24 year old student, who subsequently succumbed to her injuries and lost her precious life. Will the impending case result in a victory of the victim’s family in acquiring justice, after battling this case for five years now or will there be an impediment, leading to the acquittal of the convicts?