Before the honourable Supreme Court, the two death convicts in Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case pleaded for life and mercy by arguing that capital punishment is in violation of basic human rights and requested the court to give them a chance to reform themselves by commuting their sentence to life imprisonment.
Appearing before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, advocate A P Singh pleaded the bench to show compassion towards the convicts in view of their socio-economic background and their clean criminal record before the incident.
Singh, who was appearing on behalf of convicts Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta, said that many habitual offenders had reformed over the time and his clients should also get a chance by converting their death sentence to life imprisonment. He said that death sentence was against Indian culture of non-violence and tolerance. He told the bench that even a hardcore criminal like Phoolan Devi, who killed 27 people in a day, got reformed and became a member of Parliament.
The court, after a brief hearing, reserved its verdict and asked the lawyer to file his written submission. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Delhi Police, said the convicts had not raised any new ground which was dealt with by the apex court while delivering its verdict upholding their death sentence.
The Supreme Court had on May 5 last year awarded death sentence to four convicts in the case saying that the brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature of the crime shook the conscience of humanity and they deserved the extreme punishment. The court held Vinay Sharma (23), Akshay Thakur (31), Mukesh (29) and Pawan Gupta (22) guilty and awarded the death sentence to them saying it was a rarest of rare case.
The 23-year-old paramedic, on the night of December 16, 2012, was brutally assaulted and gang-raped in a moving bus in south Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend. She later died in a Singapore hospital on December 29. The trial court had awarded them death sentence in September 2013 and six months thereafter, the Delhi High Court on March 13, 2014, upheld their conviction and sentence. All the convicts then approached the Supreme Court which had in 2014 stayed their execution.
Upholding the verdict of trial court and HC, the Supreme Court had said, “It is manifest that the wanton lust, the servility to absolutely unchained carnal desire and slavery to the loathsome beastliness of passion ruled the mindset of the appellants to commit a crime which can summon with immediacy tsunami of shock in the mind of the collective and destroy the civilized marrows of the milieu in entirety.
BY – NIKITA GOEL, CONVENER, REPORTER COMMITTEE, INBA