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nirbhaya case study

The four convicts who committed the gruesome and brutal act on the night of December 16th, 2012 were given the death sentence by the Supreme Court. The act which shook the whole nations caused the death of the 23-year-old victim. The case has come to its conclusion after five years of the incident and is one of the most brutal acts ever to have taken place. This was rarest of rare crime which was very disturbing on many levels. The case was heard by the bench which was headed by Justice Dipak Misra and consisted of Justice Ashok Bhushan and R Banumathi.

Supreme Court had rejected the plea of all the four convicts for the purpose of challenging the death penalty which was awarded to them. All the four convicts Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay, and Akash, were convicted of brutally raping and torturing the 23-year-old student. In total six people were convicted of the crime out of which one was a juvenile who was released after three years. The sixth person was Ram Singh who committed suicide during the trial of the case.

nirbhaya rape case

Here is all you need you to need to know about the six convicts:

  1.    Akshay Thakur

Akshay Thakur belonged to Bihar and was 28 years old. He worked as a bus helper and was on the bus in which the gruesome act happened. Being a school drop out he moved to Delhi in 2011 and stayed with his wife and son. His family is still in denial that Akshay had committed a crime of such intensity.

During the trial, Akshay had denied that he was in Delhi during the night of the offence and had left for his village in Bihar. His claims were ridiculed by the court.

  1.    Pawan Gupta

Pawan was a friend of Akshay and used to sell fruits in the locality. His father denied any involvement of his son in the incident and had claimed that Pawan was innocent. According to the Pawan, he had left the premise much before the actual incident took place.

  1.    Vinay Sharma

Vinay was just 20 years old and was well educated among the lot. He was a resident of Ravi Dass Slum and used to work as a fitness trainer.  He denied any involvement in the crime and claimed that he was attending a function with Pawan Gupta.

  1.    Mukesh Singh

Mukesh was the younger brother of Ram Singh and was a driver of the bus. He stayed in the Ravi Dass Slum with his brother. Mukesh denied committing the crime and said that he was driving the bus.

  1.    Ram Singh

Ram Singh was a 33-year-old convict who hanged himself inside the Tihar Jail. He was a widow and came from Rajasthan. He was a college drop out and used to work as a worker in different companies. His father claimed that he was murdered inside the Jail as his one arm was damaged because of injury. According to medical reports, his arm was injured and had an iron rod installed in it.

  1.    Juvenile

The juvenile was a 17-year-old who was sent to a three-year-long reform as this was the maximum punishment permitted to the minor. He belonged to UP and came to Delhi when he was 11 years old. Belonging to a poor family, he arrived in Delhi in the hope of earning some livelihood. He was released from jail and given a new identity which no one knows.

Convicts of Nirbhaya Case are left with three legal options to stop the death penalty which was given to them. Here are some of the options which the convicts can explore:

Review Petition

According to Article 137 of the constitution, there is a provision for reviewing the verdict of the Supreme Court. Filing of the petition is granted by the rules of Supreme Court. Prominent Supreme Court Lawyer Atul Kumar said that “A Review petition needs to be filed before 30 days of the judgment of Supreme Court.”

Chances of success from review petition are very low as it goes to the same panel of the judge which has heard the case previously.

Curative Petition

The curative petition does not have any mention in the constitution. It has been created by the judiciary in the year 2002 and is a legal option considered after Supreme Court judgment. The curative petition should be filed in the Supreme Court dismisses the petition. Just like review petition, the curative petition is first decided by the chamber of judges. If there are any merits then judges can allow for an open court hearing of the case.

All the convicts of the Nirbhaya Gangrape case will have to get their curative petition signed by a senior advocate on grounds for admitting by the Supreme Court. A curative petition is a tool which should be used carefully with circumspection and must be used as a tool for rare than regular use. In the past 15 years of its inception, the curative petition has been successful for only two times. However, the low success rate will not deter the convicts from using the option.

Mercy Petition

When judiciary shuts its doors, a convict can be saved from a death sentence by the President of India. As per Article 72 of the constitution, the President can save convicts from a death sentence. President will have to act on the advice of the council of Ministers which under current rules is the Ministry of Home Affairs. Convict of the Nirbhaya case can file for the Mercy petition from jail with the help of families, lawyers, and officials from prison. They can send the plea via email or written application to the Home Ministry.

There is no fixed time frame in which the president will have to decide for the review petition. Chances of convicts getting any mercy from the President are very bleak. This is mainly because the Nirbhaya case is one of the most high-profile cases and the whole country is asking for the death petition of the convicts.

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