NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday has dismissed the petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against the rejection of his mercy plea by the President and seeking a stay on execution. The verdict paved the way for the four convicts' execution as per schedule on Friday.
A three-judge Bench of Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna, observed that consistent view of this court is that scope for review of President's decision in mercy petitions is very limited.
The top court stated in its order that the petitioner is not right in contending that the plea of juvenility has not been finally considered by the courts. It was duly considered and rejected by the courts, SC observed.
It also stated that the alleged torture in prison if any cannot be ground for judicial review of executive decision under Article 72.
We dismiss this petition warranting any judicial review of the decision by President rejecting his mercy plea, the top court stated.
Advocate AP Singh, while appearing for convict Pawan, showed to court school certificate, school register, and attendance register of Pawan claiming he was juvenile at the time of the crime. However, Justice Bhushan said these documents were already filed by him before the trial court, High court and in the SLP in Supreme Court.
Justice Bhushan stated told Singh that he is effectively asking to review the judgment. Interest of justice can't be something which can be reopened anytime, Justice Bhushan stated.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta raises objection on AP Singh's arguments. He submitted an updated chart of hearings and petitions. The Solicitor General said AP Singh has raised this plea before the trial court which rejected it on merits, High Court has dismissed the plea and then SLP and review plea was dismissed.
AP Singh again raised the argument that Pawan Gupta's FIR against Mandoli jail is pending, his statement should be recorded before he is hanged.
"Pawan received 14 stitches on his head. What type of human rights?" he said.
During the hearing, AP Singh also said, "I know they will be hanged but can it (execution) be stayed for two-three days to record (convict Pawan's) statement."
Singh also urged the top court to allow family members of convicts to meet them for last time 5-10 minutes.
On this, the Supreme Court stated that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will look into it if it's permitted. Mehta later stated that jail rules don't permit it and it's painful for both sides.
The top court later refused to pass any order in this regard and leave the matter the Solicitor General.
Singh also urged the top court to allow Akshay's eight-year-old child to meet him. However, Supreme Court stated that it is better for the child not to see this.
All four convicts - Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh - are scheduled to be hanged at 5:30 am today.
The case pertains to the brutal gang-rape and killing of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in the national capital. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later. (ANI)