The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the juvenility plea of 2012 gangrape convict Pawan Kumar Gupta. The apex court bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, said the Delhi High Court "rightly rejected" Gupta's claim of being a juvenile at the time of the offence.
Advocate AP Singh, appearing for the death row convict Pawan Kumar Gupta, earlier accused the State of concealing his client's juvenility from the court.
As per Live Law, Singh said that as per Gupta's school leaving certificate, his date of birth is 8 October, 1996, which means he was a minor at the time of the offence. He added that this document was obtained in February 2017, after his client had been convicted and that none of the courts, including trial court and high court, ever considered his documents.
He alleged that there is a "big conspiracy" to conceal Gupta's age, to which Bhushan stated that Singh's questions regarding his age were brought up before this court and decided during proceedings, as per Live Law. "Can you be allowed now to bring up same issue based on new evidence?" the justice asked.
Bar & Bench reported that Banumathi stated that this question was considered during the July 2018 judgment and also considered by the Delhi High Court later. "This is not the first time this issue has been raised. You have raised this plea before the trial court, which was rejected in 2013. Even the high court and the Supreme Court have rejected this plea earlier. If this was the first time you were raising the issue, it may have been different," Justice Banumathi said. "One of the accused was, in fact, tried as a juvenile. Your plea was rejected."
Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi Police, said that Gupta's claim of juvenility was considered at each and every judicial forum and it will be a travesty of justice if the convict is allowed to raise the claim of juvenility repeatedly and at this point of time. He said the convict was 19 years old at the time of offence and there is a certified copy of his birth certificate as well as a school leaving certificate which was taken on record by each and every judicial forum.
With inputs from PTI