New Delhi, January 20: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the special leave petition filed by Nirbhaya case convict Pawan Kumar Gupta, claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of committing the offence. The bench led by Justice R Banumathi dismissed the claim presented by his counsel, while upholding his conviction as per an adult in the 2012 gangrape-murder case. Delhi Court Issues Fresh Death Warrant, Convicts to be Hanged at 6 AM on February 1.
The Delhi Police, while arguing against the SLP filed by Gupta's counsel, said that the convict has been treated as a major before all judicial forums so far. The last minute claim by the defence related to his age is an attempt to prevent him from facing the gallows, the prosecution charged.
Advocate AP Singh, who represented Gupta in the courtroom, said the set of documents presented to him by the convict revealed that he was 17 years, 1 month and 20 days old when the offence was committed. "That's why his role should be considered as a juvenile in the case," he said.
2012 Delhi gang-rape case: AP Singh, lawyer for convict Pawan K Gupta states before SC three-judge bench that Pawan's age was 17 years, 1 month and 20 days, when the offence was committed, that's why his role should be considered as a juvenile in the case.
— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2020
The Delhi High Court had earlier this month rejected a similar plea filed by Gupta. The bench had noted that material on record and the evidence presented by the prosecution points out that the petitioner was a major, and rightly put before trial along with the four other adults in the case.
The Nirbhaya case dates back to 2012, when a 23-year-old medical student was gangraped and murdered inside a moving bus on the night of December 16. The case shook the nation's conscience, with thousands marching on the streets seeking stricter laws to curb crimes against women.
The case was investigated in a fast-track manner, with the police booking six persons, including a minor, for the ghastly incident of crime. The juvenile, who was convicted at the age of 17, was released after serving his term in the juvenile justice home. Among the five other majors, one Ram Singh ended up committing suicide inside the jail premises. The remaining four's conviction was upheld by the apex court last year.